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Is laughter REALLY the best ‘medicine’?

Julien Normand

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December 4, 2020

It’s not a cure all for everything that ails you but when it comes to your health and wellbeing sound medical science says, “don’t forget to laugh!”

Laughing is good for heart health, your brain, your relationships and your overall sense of well-being - some things we can all use.

Laughing triggers our brain into releasing natural, feel-good neurotransmitters like:

Dopamine - which helps the brain process emotional responses and enhances our experience of pleasure

Serotonin - which helps elevate our mood

Endorphins - which regulate pain and stress and induces a state of euphoria.

And hey, don’t just laugh alone!

One recent study showed that laughing with others releases endorphins via our opioid receptors.

This suggests that laughter-produced euphoria is like a narcotic - it truly is infectious as they say, but without the obvious drawbacks.

By boosting your mood daily, laughter may also help you lower your cardiac risk, by reducing day to day stress and anxiety.

Common challenges can trigger your bodies natural “fight or flight” response which can cause blood vessels to constrict and blood pressure to rise.

A daily ‘guffaw’ at something you find hilarious could also help counteract the effects of chronic stress.

In 2005, researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center found that laughter increases blood flow by dilating the inner lining of vessels.

Which simply means that your heart doesn’t have to pump as hard, which in turn reduces your blood pressure.

Laughter is also an antidote to pain, which also means it can increase your endurance level.

A 2011 Oxford University study revealed that subjects’ pain thresholds were dramatically higher after laughing, because endorphins released by your body produce an opiate-like effect.

A good belly laugh - especially when the joke is shared with friends is an excellent way to elevate your mood and help your body operate at maximum efficiency.

Don’t take it all too seriously. Life is meant to be laughed at regularly, too.

It’s science!

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