Laughter Delays Aging
Just living longer is the goal of many, but living longer and enjoying it should be the goal. Laughter can help to live longer joyfully. The health benefits (physical, mental, and emotional) of real laughter are only now being discovered. Most people instinctively know that you can relieve a tense situation with laughter, but they probably don’t realize how healthy that laughter really is.
Remember when then President Reagan asked the doctor who was about to operate on him after an assignation attempt if he was a Democrat or a Republican? That was an attempt at using laughter to relieve a tense situation, and it worked.
Stress will kill you, and laughter relieves stress. Laughter is a powerful way to improve the mental state, and only recently has the scientific community begun to recognize the value of laughter and why it works.
Dr. Lee Berk and Dr. Stanley Tan, both of Loma Linda University in California, have recently been studying the effects of laughter on the immune system. So far, their studies have shown that laughing lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, increases muscle flexion, and raises levels of infection-fighting T-cells, which give the immune system a boost, and disease-fighting proteins called Gamma-interferon and B-cells, which produce disease-destroying antibodies. Laughter also causes the release of endorphins, which are the natural painkillers that cause a general sense of well-being.
Laughing is an aerobic exercise that provides a workout for the diaphragm, and this increases the body’s ability to use oxygen that speeds up the flow of the natural chemicals.
And it’s not just laughter, either, the anticipation of laughter gives a boost to the immune system and reduces stress. Just knowing that you are about to be entertained or about to have a good laugh reduces levels of stress hormones in the blood and increases levels of chemicals known to aid relaxation.
See you next time,