Do you know how laughter can help you improve your physical and mental health?

No one doubts that the laugh It is very beneficial for physical and mental health. Sigmund already said Freudwho attributed to laughter the power to free the body from negative energy.

Thus, the therapeutic power of laughter and positive emotions is not an invention of today’s society, but rather we find it throughout history in different civilizations.

in the old Chinese empire, more than 4,000 years ago, there were already places enabled for people to gather to laugh as a means of balancing their health. In ancient tribal cultures there was the figure of the clown doctor, a sorcerer dressed and made up who applied laughter therapy to cure sick warriors.

Starting in 1970, scientific interest in the benefits of laughter for health increased, which has generated many studies and research on this issue.

But, why do we laugh? People laugh at almost anything. They say that for every ten minutes of conversation a person laughs about seven times.

We laugh because he brain It triggers hormonal reactions (endorphins, which relieve pain, and dopamine, known as the hormone of happiness) that end up generating a feeling of well-being in our body and activating a series of muscles in the rib cage.

The chest muscles contract and press on the lungs. It is then that the sounds, shrieks or snores that give the personal touch to each person’s laughter are produced in the rib cage.

A bit of laughter recharges our batteries, improves our mood and makes us feel more vital and optimistic. At the moment when we laugh out loud, we can experience a feeling of tiredness and discomfort in the muscles of the abdomen, face and neck due to the strong contractions they experience when we laugh heartily.

A young couple poses smiling and happy. Freepik

The benefits of laughing out loud

Laughter has innumerable benefits for our health. Here are ten of them:

1- Strengthens the immune system. Laughter enhances the production of immunoglobulin A and T lymphocytes, antibodies that fight viruses and bacteria and will make us more resistant to the attack of pathogenic microorganisms.

2- Reduces bad cholesterol. Laughing stimulates the production of lipoproteins, molecules that circulate in the blood and help lower bad cholesterol.

3- Oxygenates the body. Laughter happens in the rib cage and this makes the lungs work very fast. With each inhalation, more oxygen is absorbed, the heart rate is higher, and organs and tissues receive more oxygen than normal.

4- Reduces blood pressure. Although laughter increases heart rate and blood pressure, by relaxing the walls of the blood vessels they relax, improving circulation and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

5- Reduce stress. Laughing causes the body to generate little cortisol, the stress hormone. This will also reduce anxiety and relieve symptoms of depression. It helps to prevent conflicts and reduce levels of aggressiveness.

6- Consume more calories. When we laugh we activate 430 different muscles and with 100 laughs we burn the same calories as with a quarter of an hour on a bike. The contractions and relaxations of the muscles when laughing make them work just as if we were practicing an aerobic sport and, if we laugh heartily, they can leave us with soreness in the gut.

7- Increases the production of endorphins. Laughter increases the production of endorphins, hormones that relieve pain and give a feeling of well-being, which makes us feel happier, more vital, optimistic and less stressed. It distracts from worries, reduces negative thoughts and helps to face daily problems positively. It makes it possible to strengthen relationships, increase trust and reinforce feelings of belonging, proximity, friendship and love.

8- Stimulates the production of collagen. Laughing stimulates the production of collagen, a substance present in many organs and tissues that gives us strength, flexibility and elasticity. This will result in healthier skin that will take longer to age.

9- Increase memory. Laughter and humor increase the number of connections our brain makes while we learn something. We remember more easily the things that make us happy.

10- Strengthens creativity. The greater oxygenation of the organs and the reduction of the stress hormone improve the health of the brain making it more active and more creative.

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