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The Power of Laughter

They say that laughter is the best medicine, and recent research has proven that laughter does, in fact, have many benefits on mental and physical health. Laughter is a great way to overcome stress and anxiety, and lead to overall improvement in mood and quality of life.

Research into laughter has found that it causes the release of endorphins that improve mood. The positive effects of laughter are so profound that it has been accepted as an effective form of therapy. According to the Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine, “Laughter is a positive sensation, and seems to be a useful and healthy way to overcome stress. Laughter therapy is a kind of cognitive-behavioral therapies that could make physical, psychological, and social relationships healthy, ultimately improving the quality of life. Laughter therapy, as a non-pharmacological, alternative treatment, has a positive effect on the mental health and the immune system. In addition, laughter therapy does not require specialized preparations, such as suitable facilities and equipment, and it is easily accessible and acceptable.”

Laughter is even comparable to physical exercise. According to William F. Fry of Stanford University, “Mirthful laughter has a scientifically demonstrable exercise impact on several body systems. Muscles are activated, heart rate is increased, respiration is simplified with increase in oxygen exchange -all similar to the desirable effects of athletic exercise.” Laughter also provides a cathartic release of emotional and physical tension, leading to relaxation and major reductions in stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter provides powerful short-term benefits: Laughter can stimulate organ: “Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.” It can activate and relieve one’s stress response: “a rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.” It can even soothe tension: “Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.” Overall, laughter is a healthy and effective way to relieve tension and lift mood, leading to decreased negative emotions and improving one’s sense of well-being.

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