“Laughter is the best medicine.” You’ve probably heard that saying, heard it so many times that you don’t pay much attention to it anymore. But you should pay attention! Recent research has proved that laughter really can have a direct effect on your health and wellbeing. Researchers found that “experiencing joyful laughter reduces stress hormones, lowers blood pressure, and elevates a person’s mood.”
In this study, researchers separated participants into two groups. One group watched funny videos prior to a memory test while the other group did not. The funny-video group went on to perform better on short-term memory tests, a finding that added to the already sizable amount of research that links laughter to health benefits.
“When there is mirthful laughter,” said Lee Berk, the head of the study, “it’s as if the brain gets a workout because the gamma wave band is in sync with multiple other areas of the brain that are in the same 30-40 hertz frequency. This allows for thinking more clearly and having more integrative thoughts.” If we think of laughter as exercise, as Berk suggests, its ability to reduce stress becomes even more apparent. In fact, laughter has even been linked to heart health. So, what makes you laugh? Who makes you laugh? We all need to laugh more. Go out and find what makes you giggle today!