Is laughter the best medicine?

It’s been said a million times that laughter is the best medicine, but is it? While having a good belly laugh may be fun, doctors say it is also good for you. Research has shown that a serious laughing session not only releases stress, it’s also beneficial for your immune system.

Mayo Clinic says that since negative thoughts can affect your body with stress, decreasing your immunity, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.

Results from a 2017 study back up the claims made by doctors that laughter is indeed, good for the body. The study showed that humor therapy can decrease blood pressure of patients undergoing hemodialysis.

When we laugh, we release endorphins, natural chemicals that promote a sense of well-being. These are the same chemicals that relieve stress, improve our mood and reduce anxiety. Laughing is also known to stimulate organs (heart, lungs and muscles) with the intake of oxygen.

It has been shown that adults diagnosed with Parkinson׳s disease and their accompanying caregivers benefit from 45-minute long laughing sessions. A study in PubMed revealed “statistically significant improvements in the well-being for adults with PD and their caregivers after attending a laughing session”.

Another study found that people who are able to maintain a sense of humor have better positive coping mechanisms in times of difficulty and stress.