According to the Scientific Journal, many of our “hunches” about health seem to be spot on. Especially regarding laughter.
Studying laughter and its natural consequences has long been a fascinatinon by scientists and health professionals, and grandmothers who teach “laughter as the best medicine”.
“Women with a strong sense of humor were found to live longer in spite of illness, especially cardiovascular disease and infection. Mirthful men seem to be protected against infection”, reported the Journal in a recent Norwegian study.
Another study by the Maryland School of Medicine shows laughter is linked to the healthy function of blood vessels. And healthy blood vessels means a health(ier) heart. Laughter causes the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels (endothelium) to expand in order to increase blood flow, while stress does the opposite by constricting blood vessels and reducing blood flow.
The blood vessels of the heart regulate blood flow and a host of other jobs, including secreting chemicals and other substances in response to wounds, infections or irritation, and plays a large role in the development of cardiovascular disease.
Laughing maintains a healthy endothelium and reduces the risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. When you laugh, the blood flow increases and your blood pressure rises, but when you stop laughing, blood pressure drops back to its normal baseline. This helps bring down blood pressure and creates a relaxing effect, as well as deeper breathing that sends more oxygenated blood throughout your body.
The Loma Linda School of Medicine found “that the physiological effects of a single one-hour session of viewing a humorous video appear to last anywhere from 12 to 24 hours in different individuals…and by seeking out positive experiences that make us laugh we can do a lot with our physiology to stay well.”
So what are you waiting for? Find the jokes in this paper and get laughing!