Laughter is made up of a set of gestures, which can range from waving hands to holding the stomach, and sound, which can range from a quiet, “tee-hee” to a great guffaw! Fifteen facial muscles also move and we can gasp for air. Sometimes our face goes red and at other times our eyes may water.
Laughter works wonderfully well in the moment, but it also has some surprising long-term health benefits.
What can laughter do??
Lower blood pressure
Increase vascular blood flow and oxygenation of the blood
Give a workout to the diaphragm and abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back muscles
Reduce certain stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline
Increase the response of tumor- and disease-killing cells such as Gamma-interferon and T-cells
Defend against respiratory infections–even reducing the frequency of colds by immunoglobulon in saliva.
Increase memory and learning
Improve alertness, creativity, and memory
Have you ever heard the saying, ‘Laughter is the best medicine’? This is what psychoneuroimmunology is all about. Phew! What a long word! It’s the science of studying how laughter benefits our health and our immune system, in particular.
It seems that laughing is good for you. It relaxes you and makes you feel good by releasing chemicals into your bloodstream.
But remember one thing. Even though laughter is good for you, try not to be funny around people with broken ribs!