The latest research supports the common wisdom about the effects of laughter.
Adults are said to laugh around 20 times a day compared with children who can notch up to 300 giggles every 24 hours.
Laughter clubs around the globe want to close that gap and each year in early May they take World Laughter Day very seriously. The clubs actively promote laughing as a means to boost health, as much as to have fun.
And according to several studies, it is no joking matter that merriment and mirth help the neurotransmitter, endorphin, to be released, strengthening relationship bonds, fostering brain connectivity, aiding the immune system and protecting your heart.
Scientists are not sure exactly how having a giggle is good for your ticker, but they believe that endorphins help to lower blood pressure, increase the number of T-cells to boost immunity, and improve the functionality of blood vessels.
And it seems laughter is one of the best medicines for depression, too. A Korean study of a group of depressed middle-aged women noted that when they were exposed to humour therapy, the levels of serotonin released by their brains increased. The researchers concluded that serotonin lessened depressive symptoms.
Further, it is no secret that being in a loving relationship is good for your health. Now science has discovered that relationships where a sense of humour is shared are among the strongest.
Psychology experts at the University of North Carolina performed a study on 70 couples in which they were filmed as they discussed how they first met. The conclusion was that the couples who laughed together the most reported better relationship quality, closeness and social support for each other than those who were grimmer.
If you like being tickled pink – while improving your overall health – and you live in Victoria, Tasmania or South Australia, check out if there is a laughter club near you. For clubs in other locations, click on your state or territory: NSW, Queensland, Western Australia, Canberra, and Northern Territory.
Do you believe laughter is the best medicine? Do you regularly laugh with your partner?
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