Yes, it’s true: laughter is a strong medicine. A good laugh will release feel-good chemicals in our brain, including dopamine and endorphins. Laughter strengthens our immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects us from the damaging effects of stress.
Laughing might help ease pain and fight depression
Laughter releases brain chemicals called endorphins that help us deal with pain better by relieving physical tension and stress and leaving our muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. Furthermore, it will boost the immune system as laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. Research shows that a good laugh also lower stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine and raise serotonin – the brain chemical that helps fight depression.
Laughing helps us lose weight and strengthen the heart
We bet you never thought about this, did you? Researchers found that laughter raises our heart rate 10% to 20%. 15 minutes of laughter every day, and you could laugh off 4 pounds in a year. The endorphins released into the body when we laugh also latch onto receptors in our blood vessels triggering the release of nitric oxide, which loosens up the arteries. This way, the blood flows freely and the heart is functioning better.
Laughter helps us live longer
A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humour outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.