- It’s still the best medicine
- Experts say you need it to protect your heart.
- It lowers blood pressure, enhances blood flow to essential organs and boosts your immunity
“The most wasted of all days is that in which we have not laughed.”
This aphorism by Nicolas Chamfort, a popular French writer, could be your valuable guide if you wish to avoid hospital visits in 2017 and beyond. You need a daily dose of laughter to keep diseases at bay.
Believe it or not, many researchers agree on this. According to studies, you may not only end up wasting that day you fail to laugh, your health could be at the receiving end too. Now, there’s increasing evidence that laughter might just be the only medicine you will need for a great mood and a disease-free life as you go about your normal routine every day of the year.
Experts say laughter has a lot of surprising long-term health benefits that could boost your performance all year-round. For instance, researchers at the New University of Maryland Medical Centre, Baltimore, USA, have discovered that people with heart disease were 40 per cent less likely to laugh in a variety of situations compared to people of the same age without heart disease. According to the researchers, a number of the patients would probably have been able to avoid the condition if laughter had been part of their daily routine.
“The old saying that ‘laughter is the best medicine’ definitely appears to be true when it comes to protecting your heart,” says Michael Miller, MD, director of The Centre for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Centre.
“We don’t know yet why laughing protects the heart,” he says, “but we know that mental stress is associated with impairment of the endothelium, the protective barrier lining our blood vessels. This can cause a series of inflammatory reactions that lead to fat and cholesterol build-up in the coronary arteries and ultimately to a heart attack.”
Experts describe laughter as an outward display of an inner feeling of happiness. It is said to be a response to external stimuli such as a joke, tickling another person etc. Its health benefits are therefore closely linked with happiness. Thus when you laugh, your blood pressure is lowered and you experience an increased blood flow and oxygenated blood. Laughter is also said to be a great exercise and an easy and cost-effective way to a good health.
For instance, it has been found to be a good workout to the diaphragm and abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg and back muscles. According to the experts, it expands the blood vessels, enhances blood flow to essential organs and also helps to reduce the chances of cardiovascular disease.
But that’s not all. Laughter could also be a good agent for boosting your immunity. This is because it ensures that infection-fighting antibodies are released into the system by increasing the response of tumour and disease-killing cells, such as Gamma-interferon and T-cells, while it also reduces certain stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.
In a study at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, humour during instruction was reported to have led to increased test scores, improved alertness, creativity and memory. Also, it has been medically proved that laughter actually speeds the body’s recovery process. Just like negative thoughts and unhappiness can make you fall sick, positive emotions can counter the effects and restore good health.
No doubt there’s enough reason for you to laugh always – even in a gloomy economic situation. Your body needs it to remain in top shape. Indeed, a habit of genuine smiling or laughter may contribute to your happiness and better adjustment in life.
So go ahead and have a good laugh today! It could be your main recipe for good health in 2017.