People often say “just smile, ten years less”, laughter brings many health benefits. Recently, foreign media summarized new research by scientists and found that laughter can help you maintain long-term health in five ways.
Lower blood pressure
1. Lower blood pressure, protect heart and brain. Japanese researchers found that when participants watched comedy variety shows, the blood flow of their internal organs increased and blood circulation improved. In addition, comedy movies that make people laugh out loud will expand blood vessels, increase blood supply to the brain, and lower blood pressure for viewers within 24 hours. They can be called “natural antihypertensive drugs.” Lead researcher Professor Jun Sugawara said: “Laughter may not be enough to replace drugs or surgery to treat heart disease, but it does produce a very positive adjuvant treatment effect.”
Eliminate stress and treat depression
2. Eliminate stress and treat depression. While laughing has an effect on physical health, it also triggers a psychological reaction, which is why people feel relaxed after laughing. Scientists have found in a new study that one laugh can reduce the levels of three stress hormones, cortisol, adrenaline, and doback, by 39%, 70%, and 38%, respectively. Researchers said that these seemingly short-lived emotional factors may play a role in the treatment of mental illness in the long run. At present, they have used laughter therapy as a stress management tool and are preparing to be widely used in patients suffering from anxiety and depression.
3. Improve immunity. Dr. Li Burke of Loma Linda University in the United States found that laughter can reduce the level of inflammation in the human body and increase the activity of K lymphocytes (a type of immune cell that plays a role in fighting viruses, parasites, tumors, etc.). Therefore, laughter helps strengthen the body’s immune system and protect the body from diseases. Dr. Li lists laughter as a traditional healthy lifestyle that is as important as a balanced diet, active exercise and good sleep.
4. Relieve pain. The researchers found through a series of experiments that when participants laughed with a group of people, their pain threshold was significantly higher and showed better pain tolerance. Later, when the topic returned to something less funny, the participant’s pain threshold dropped. Experts say that the reason why laughter can relieve pain may be because the body releases endorphins. This is a natural analgesic that enhances our ability to resist pain.
5. Burn calories. Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the United States said that although laughter cannot replace exercise, laughter lasts for 10 to 15 minutes and can burn up to 40 calories (about 0.17 kJ). Not only that, but laughing can also exercise body parts such as the abdomen, shoulders and diaphragm.