They say that laughter is the world’s best medicine. Have you ever wondered why you feel better after a good laugh? You feel more relaxed. You don’t feel any tensions in your muscles. Here are 5 reasons why laughing to your heart’s content will improve your health.
Laughter is a Stress-buster
In a world where almost anywhere you look there is something to be stressed about, laughter holds the key to improving the way you fight stress. Studies have shown that laughter can significantly reduce the amount of cortisol and epinephrine in the body. This effectively reduces the body’s response to stress.
A little stress every now and then is not actually a bad thing. It can make us aware of a situation that requires our attention. However, in the process of addressing this stress, we use up energy. This is why you feel your heartbeat go faster, your muscles tense, and you experience rapid breathing. This is in an effort to prepare the body to face and manage stress. However, if stress is not immediately controlled, it can escalate into severe stress requiring cortisol to be released. Unfortunately, cortisol leaves you feeling exhausted.
Laughter decreases the need for epinephrine and cortisol by acting on the part of the brain that releases natural endorphins as well as the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. Known as the ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin can significantly improve the way you feel about things. Simply put, these substances will enhance your mood and make you focus more on the more pleasurable things in life. In other words, laughter can make you feel less stressed.
Laughter is Good for your Heart
While it is true that you can almost feel your heart pounding in your chest after laughing, this is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, studies show that laughter is excellent in keeping your heart in tip-top shape. The improved blood circulation produced by the stimulation and release of natural endorphins from the brain allows the more efficient delivery of oxygen to the muscles of your heart. This leads to improved cardiac output. Increasing cardiac output naturally improves the delivery of invaluable oxygen and nutrients to the different cells and tissues of the body. More importantly, these endorphins have been shown to stimulate the synthesis of nitric oxide which can provide the heart with natural protection in terms of reduced inflammation of the heart’s blood vessels and reduced clumping of platelets to prevent blood clots.
Some studies even go on to recommend laughter yoga as a means of improving overall oxygenation of the tissues of the body. This facilitates the enhanced metabolic processes of individual cells. And when you have a fully functioning cell, you have a healthier body. This is especially true for the heart because it is the one kind of muscle that never stops contracting. Because of this, the muscles of the heart require substantial amounts of oxygen and nutrients to keep it pumping without tiring. Conditioning it by increasing the number of contractions per minute can also enhance the ability of its muscle fibers to contract, making them more efficient. This is the principle behind cardiovascular endurance workouts. You don’t need to go to the gym to make sure that your heart gets a good workout. Sharing heart-felt laughter with your friends is more than enough to maintain a healthy heart.
Laughter Protects you from Diseases
Did you know that laughter can boost your immune system? By decreasing the levels of stress hormones, laughter also decreases the risk of inflammation. You see, many of these stress hormones produce inflammation in the body. Inflammatory conditions are always the beginning of disease processes. The more you laugh, the lesser is the risk for the development of inflammatory conditions, and the healthier you become.
Additionally, studies have shown that laughter can increase the levels of lymphocytic T-cells in your blood. These white blood cells are responsible for a host of immune protective processes. There are seven types of T-cells that function in a variety of ways but ultimately leading to protecting the body against disease-carrying microorganisms. Some T-cells help other immune cells fight infection while others destroy cells that have been infected as well as cells that carry a mutagenic element. Other T-cells produce antibodies and assist the innate immune processes of the body. In other words, you will simply get sick less often with laughter in your life.
Laughter is a Great Way to Relax
Laughing stimulates the release of inhibitory neurotransmitters from the brain. Gamma-aminobutyric acid and serotonin have both been observed to be especially beneficial in inducing relaxation. These neurotransmitters block nerve impulse transmission so what you get is a more relaxed, calmer state of the body. Additionally, laughing stretches your muscles which has been shown to produce a very relaxing effect. Its stress-busting effect can also help provide for a more relaxing after-effect. Why not just devote a few hours of no-holds-barred jokes and roasting of your friends instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a relaxing spa or massage session? It is a very inexpensive way to relax. Besides, nothing beats laughter shared in the company of friends.
Laughter is Better than Prescription Analgesics
Well, almost. Laughter stimulates the production and secretion of natural endorphins from the brain. These interact with opiate receptors in order to affect your ability to perceive pain. This is the same action of prescription narcotic analgesics like Vicodin and OxyContin. In short, you simply will not recognize the pain. The good news? Laughter will not bring you to the emergency room because of an overdose. It will also not put you into a comatose state attached to an artificial ventilator. Additionally, laughter will not kill you. Instead of popping a pill or two, why not just spend an hour or two watching the comic classics of Friars Roasts?
Laughing is free. No one can prevent you from laughing to your heart’s content. With the many health benefits of laughter, it is no wonder why many watch roasting events a lot more than toasting celebrations. Not impressed? Put on that DVD of the Friars Roasts’ Classics and ask yourself if you haven’t felt a lot better afterwards.
About Classic Friars Club Roasts: Classic Friars Roasts is a DVD collection of the best comedy roasts of all time. The Jerry Lewis roast features incredible barbs from comedy legends. The Johnny Carson DVD is just as hilarious as the skits you remember from The Tonight Show. Visit the website at http://www.classicfriarsroasts.com now to order your celebrity roast videos. “Like” the Facebook page for links to some classic comedy sketches. Call 866-987-3678 to order your very own collection of Johnny Carson videos and Don Rickles videos.