HEALTH BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER
Did you know that laughter has health benefits? Yes it does, a lot. Laughter is the physiological feedback or response to humour, although a lot of people often mistakenly laughter for humour, but they are not the same thing. A genuine laughter is an expression of happiness, joy and amusement within the human body system. Laughter could also serve as a coping mechanism to anger, frustration. Moreover, laughter can also serve as a mask for feelings (especially bad ones) to prevent other people from discovering the true state of their mind. So laughter can be genuine, deceiving, and cautionary.
Laughter comprises of two parts, first, a set of gestures and second, sound production. The mechanism behind laughing is when the brain coerces us to perform both the set of gestures and the production of sounds simultaneously. The gestures occur in the arms, trunks and leg muscles. Moreover, in some circumstances, the body conduct some rhythmic, vocalised, expiratory and involuntary movements. Also, when laughing, there are fifteen facial muscles that contract and stimulate the main lifting of the upper lips and this done by the zygomatic major muscles. However, the respiratory system is agitated by the epiglottis that half closes the larynx (voice box), then there is irregular intake of air and as a result gasp occurs. Again, this causes the tear ducts to be activated in extreme situations and when is occurring the mouth is opening and closing and there is usually struggle for intake of oxygen to continue, then the face becomes a bit wet and sometimes red or purple. Likewise, the noise that comes with laughter ranges from steady giggles to a really uproarious laugh. Here are some health benefits of laughter.
- Reduces Stress: Laughing helps to stimulate the physical release of the mind and this help to relax the body. Laughing helps to reduce the level of stress hormones like cortisol by activating the stress response in the body. Cortisol helps to gives the body a relaxed feeling.
- Enhances Healthy Hormones: Laughter can also increase the production of beneficial hormones like endorphins and neurotransmitters in the body. The endorphins attach itself to the exact same receptors in our brain as opiates, thereby making the release of endorphins like a drug experience that excludes the negative side effects and then easing tension, mood, anger, and pain. In addition studies have shown that when there is an increase in the production of endorphins in the body, that the threshold for pain is increased thereby making laughter in a sense a painkiller or a pain dampener when it done. Furthermore, when there is an increase in neurotransmitters, neurotransmitters infers that the brain is able to work faster, so the brain can understand situations and problems at a faster rate because it can make connections more quickly.
- Burns Calories : According to Canada's Best Health magazine, "laughing for 10 to minutes raises energy expenditure laughing can helps to increase heart rate as a result, it can help to burn up to 40 calories. Although don’t expect to laugh away your calories (lol) after eating some really heavy carbohydrate and fatty foods. So in other words, this shouldn’t be considered as a weight-loss method.
- Increases the Efficiency of the Immune System: Amazingly, laughter can even help you to stay healthy. A lot of studies have shown that laughter can help in the stimulation of antibody cells and as a result they develop at faster rates thereby changing the body’s affinity through hormonal shifts. As result, there is an increase in the stimulation of antibody cells that results to increase in antibodies and this means that the body will be able to fight off illness and infections faster and easier. In addition, studies have also shown that when laughter is increased the T-Cells efficiency is actually increased too and this is of advantage for the overall human system. T-Cell is a type of white blood cell known as T lymphocyte that is produced in the thymus.
- Helps Breathing: Laughing actually helps to keeps the lungs healthy. This is because a real hearty laugh helps to give a longer exhalation thereby getting rid of the residue air in the lungs and as result, there is a replacement with fresh air that contains high level of oxygen. What most of us don’t know is that laughter helps to cleanse our by lungs by empting our lungs of more air than we inhale. Moreover, in the process our lungs get a workout and this helps to get more oxygen in the blood and the blood carries the oxygen to the brain thereby helping you to think better. Moreover, this is helpful for people that have respiratory ailments like asthma.
I know at times it can be really hard to laugh, but if we consider the health benefits listed above, we will be better off, if we cultivate the habit of laughing often.
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