Health Benefits of Humour
Whoever said that ‘Laughter is the best medicine’ may be on to something.
Although laughing can’t cure everything, there actually is some credibility to claims of its health benefits.
1. Encourages heart health
There is evidence that laughter is beneficial to heart health and can contribute to decreased blood pressure.
2. Relieves stress
Humour is associated with a decrease in stress hormones, such as cortisol and epinephrine, and increased activity in the ‘reward centre’ of the brain that dispenses dopamine. This is a biological stress reliever, although the its effects have generally been measured to be short-term.
3. Strengthens social bonds
Laughter is 30 times more likely to happen in a group than when alone. This points to its innately social function. It’s also shown to be contagious. This social tendency of laughter contributes to social bonding and higher cooperation between people.
4. Increases pain tolerance
Laughter done in groups has been shown to increase pain tolerance. The study measured the laughter of groups watching comedy. These people were able to withstand the pain of freezing temperatures from a wine cooler sleeve more than the control group, who didn’t laugh prior to the test.
This may be due to the release of endorphins that occurs during laughter. These chemicals play a role in pain management in the body.
5.Boosts your immune system
Laughter increases immunoglobulin (IgA), which are antibodies that play a role in the body’s immune system. This increase was measured in the breast milk of new mothers after laughter.
Additionally, there has been evidence that laughter can increase Natural Killer cells. NK cells are critical to the immune system and are released by the body in the early stages of an infection.
For matters that good humour can’t treat completely, you can speak to a GP for expert medical advice - login and book a video consultation in minutes.