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Laughter is the best medicine

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Laughter is not only fun, but also has positive effects on body and mind. The saying “laughter is the best medicine” is not just a figure of speech. What exactly happens in our body when we laugh and how laughter strengthens our health, you will learn in this article.

Laughter activates the whole body

Whether in a group or alone, during a funny movie or over a good joke – when we laugh, our whole body is activated. In total, we tense around 300 different muscles when we laugh, 17 of them in the face alone. We pull up the corners of our mouths or tear open our mouths with a snort, squint our eyes and hold our stomachs with laughter. Our diaphragm and abdominal and respiratory muscles pump the air out of our lungs. This is followed by an increase in breathing rate and the amount of oxygen taken in triples. Our heart beats faster, blood circulation is promoted and metabolism is activated. Laughter therefore stimulates the whole body.

Laughter promotes our health

The processes triggered by laughter have a variety of positive effects on physical and mental health. Once the excitement of laughter is over, a phase of deep relaxation sets in. The blood vessels dilate, blood pressure drops and the muscles relax. This effect can last up to 45 minutes and is good for the cardiovascular system. There is even a laughter therapy for heart attack patients, in which people can reduce the risk of another heart attack by giggling regularly. Laughter has also been shown to have a positive effect on pain.

During the process, endorphins, i.e. happy hormones, are released, which increase pain tolerance and thus alleviate pain. It also inhibits the release of stress hormones, allowing us to experience some lightness during challenging times and lower stress levels. In addition to hormones, laughter also affects the immune system. More immune cells are produced and the activity of these is increased, so that more antibodies are produced and our defenses are strengthened. Of course, laughter is also beneficial for mental health. For example, there are laughter therapies that are used as a supportive measure for depression or anxiety disorders.

Supervised laughter for more cheerfulness & health

By now, word has spread about the positive effects of laughter on our health. There is even a special field of study dealing with the psychological and physical effects of laughter, known as gelotology. If you want to take advantage of the benefits of laughter, you can go to laughter yoga. There in the group in the most different way one smiles, giggles and laughs heartily loudly. With other people, such cheerfulness exercises work especially well, since laughter is known to be contagious. Last but not least, it should be said that even artificial laughter can already provide for an uplifted mood. According to the facial feedback hypothesis, good moods are communicated to the brain when we artificially smile at ourselves in the mirror, for example.

So what better way to improve your mood and health than to laugh? Why not tell your friends and colleagues a good joke now and then to promote a healthy lifestyle?

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