Laughter Was, Is & Will Be The Best Therapy Ever
A smile starts on the lips, a grin spreads to the eyes, a chuckle comes from the belly; but a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, overflows, and bubbles all around – Carolyn Birmingham
A recent 15-year study by a group of Norwegian researchers on the link between laughter and longevity reaffirms the age-old truth that laughter is indeed the best therapy ever. The study, conducted on 53,556 women and men, researched the social and cognitive effects of humour and analysed specific conditions such as heart disease, infections, cancer, etc.
The study concluded that for women with a higher penchant for humour, the risk of heart disease was 73% lower and the risk of infections was 83% lower. The same held true for men as well, with their risk of infections being 74% lower. (Source)
I have not seen anyone dying of laughter, but I know millions who are dying because they are not laughing – Dr Madan Kataria
So what is the secret ingredient in laughter that beats even modern medicines when it comes to health and happiness? Scientifically, when we laugh, our body experiences physiological changes – our facial muscles stretch and we breathe faster, gifting more oxygen to our tissues. Indulging in a hearty laughter is like having a mini workout. An experiment by WebMD claims that a minute of good laughter can lead us to the heart rate that ten minutes on a rowing machine would take. (Source)
Laugh my friend, for laughter ignites a fire within the pit of your belly and awakens your being – Stella & Blake
Laughter also helps improve blood flow in our bodies. Another experiment by the University of Maryland (USA) studies blood vessels of various people after making them watch either a comedy or a dramatic movie. The study concluded that after watching drama, the blood vessels contracted as the body tensed up, whereas after watching comedy, the blood vessels expanded and contracted easily to maintain a healthy flow. (Source)
An optimist laughs to forget; a pessimist forgets to laugh – Tom Nansbury
Laughter can also help decrease our stress levels, thereby strengthening our immune system and helping us sleep better. It also helps people bond and socialize. Haven’t you seen that it is easier becoming friends with people who laugh than those who don’t? Laughter also helps boost relationships. For couples who find it difficult to deal with their marital problems, watching a comedy can be the best remedy.
Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning to do afterward – Kurt Vonnegut
To conclude, this quote by Dr Abrenuncio, a fictional character from the Nobel prize winning author Gabriel Garzia Marquez’s novel, drives the point home – ‘No medicine cures what happiness cannot’.