It seems a bit dramatic right – laughter saving your life. But the facts do show a correlation between laughter and a healthier heart. There are a growing number of researchers and physicians documenting mounting evidence that laughter truly is wonderful medicine for your heart and cardiovascular system. With that in mind, how often do you laugh?
Discover The Power of Laughter
According to the American Heart Association, laughter can decrease stress hormones, reduce artery inflammation and increase HDL. Here at EraseDisease.com, we discuss the very serious and quite depressing aspect of heart health such as heart attack, stroke, and everything in between. But, even as we discuss some negative aspects of human life, we do our best to put a positive spin on the story. Laughter is just about as positive as it can get.
In fact, those living with heart disease are 40% less likely to laugh than people without it. The emotional toll that heart disease takes is often a less-talked about symptom, but a symptom that is all to powerful. Depression easily sets in after a heart disease diagnosis, and laughter goes right out the window.
Laughter is so powerful, it has been shown to potentially decrease inflammation of the blood vessels, which in turn helps the blood flow more smoothly and decreases high blood pressure.
Here are some of the amazing benefits of laughter, according to WebMD:
- Blood flow. Researchers at the University of Maryland studied the effects on blood vessels when people were shown either comedies or dramas. After the screening, the blood vessels of the group who watched the comedy behaved normally — expanding and contracting easily. But the blood vessels in people who watched the drama tended to tense up, restricting blood flow.
- Immune response. Increased stress is associated with decreased immune system response, says Provine. Some studies have shown that the ability to use humor may raise the level of infection-fighting antibodies in the body and boost the levels of immune cells, as well.
- Blood sugar levels. One study of 19 people with diabetes looked at the effects of laughter on blood sugar levels. After eating, the group attended a tedious lecture. On the next day, the group ate the same meal and then watched a comedy. After the comedy, the group had lower blood sugar levels than they did after the lecture.
- Relaxation and sleep. The focus on the benefits of laughter really began with Norman Cousin’s memoir, Anatomy of an Illness. Cousins, who was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, a painful spine condition, found that a diet of comedies, like Marx Brothers films and episodes of Candid Camera, helped him feel better. He said that ten minutes of laughter allowed him two hours of pain-free sleep.