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Your prescription for overall health – laugh more often!

Heather Suhr
Your prescription for overall health – laugh more often!
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The beautiful thing about language is that is not universal, which makes it very interesting to learn in order to communicate with others. Laughter, on the other hand, is universal. It appears that no matter where you go, if you just crack a smile or bust out a laugh, it’s pretty contagious and appears to be very important to humankind.

Laughter is a universal language

Researchers have studied whether certain sounds associated with emotions such as happiness, anger, fear, sadness, disgust, and surprise are shared in all cultures in attempt to see if it’s universal. And the results show that all humans share basic emotions. (1)

People were able to connect facial expressions and tones of voices to determine the emotional expression. Laughter, in particular, had a much deeper root and is universally recognized as a signal of happiness. This reaction is a simple example of a communication between a mother and the infant. (1)

Laughter is an involuntary response that triggers mechanisms in your brain to impact breathing patterns, facial expressions, and even muscles in your arms and legs. It also has a significant role on your health! (2)

Laughter is good for your memory

Since laughter is known to reduce stress and cortisol, a stress hormone, researchers set out to see if laughter can actually help improve memory in older adults. (3)

The team recruited 20 healthy older adults and split them into two groups. One group watched funny videos and the other group sat quietly for 20 minutes. Both groups took before and after short-term memory tests. (3)

The results were significant. The humor group showed a 43.6% improvement on the test and experienced lower levels of stress hormones; compared to the quiet group, resulting in only 20% improvement. (3)

Improve your immunity, sleep, and much more with laughter!

Some other studies show that there is a strong connection between laughter and the reduction of stress hormones, which explains that laughter can result in a better immune function and general health improvements. (4) Additionally, laughter can help people to feel more optimistic. (5)

Laughter can provide amazing physiological, psychological, social, spiritual, and quality of life benefits. More health cares are incorporating laughter therapies as a form of complementary care. The overall benefits include: relaxing your muscles, enhancing creativity and memory, improving well-being and positive emotions, triggering the body’s natural release of endorphins, ease digestion, boost immune function, improve sleep, enhance oxygen uptake, and improving blood pressure. (2)

Sources for this article include:
(1) www.telegraph.co.uk
(2) articles.mercola.com
(3) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
(4) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
(5) www.plosone.org

Image source: flic.kr

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