Laughter: Still the Best Medicine, Research Says

September 16, 2011

 Laughter’s the best medicine. So goes the popular saying.  Well, that isn’t just a saying.  In very recent study conducted by experts from Oxford University and published in the journal proceedings of the Royal Society B, it was found that having a good laugh with friends does help people deal with pain.

Genuine laughter takes away the pain

You have a bad day.  You woke up late because your head feels like breaking apart and you’re late for school.  You’re frowning and everything seems so annoying.  While taking your breakfast you turned on the TV and you’re just right on time- your favourite comedy show has just started.  You began to laugh and without realizing it, you’re starting to feel

better.  The headache’s going away.  Why? In the Oxford study, the researchers checked how laughing can help alleviate pain.  The test involved measuring how the respondents can tolerate the discomfort of bearing a frozen wine cooler sleeve on their arms and how long they can stand leaning their backs against the wall and their knees are bent while watching comedy videos taken during the Edinburgh festival.  The result showed that those who watched the comedy show have more level of pain tolerance.

Why laughter makes you feel good

According to one of the researchers Dr Robin Dunbar, the physical act of laughing and not the intellectual pleasure of cerebral humour is the reason why people feel good as they laugh.  He said that even the simple ‘ha, ha, ha’ is sufficient to boost the endorphins of a person which is responsible for a happy and good feeling.  But, researchers warned that only genuine laughter can make you feel good.  A mild giggle over a thing is not enough to heighten the endorphins.  To ease away pain, the laughter must be full-blown which includes ‘a series of sharp exhalations with no in-drawing of breath.’ said Dr Dunbar.

The study conducted by Dr Dunbar and his co-researchers have greatly contributed to the notion that there’s a scientific evidence of laughter being the best medicine.  In fact, the study of this concept can be dated back thousands of years ago during Plato and Aristotle’s time.  Even the ancient scientists believe that laughter could do more than just making people feel good.

How to Stay Happy

Spending quality time with friends and family makes you feel good and happy.  And when you are happy, it’s more likely that you will laugh.  Moreover, seeking help from the experts when you are depressed and stressed can be a good way to revive the enthusiasm and feeling of happiness within you.  Take time to giggle and laugh hard with your friends and family.  It brings a lot of positive things on your health.  Experts say that laughing boosts blood circulation in the body and even helps you get rid of excess pounds!

Aside from the health benefits, laughing can be the answer to most of life’s difficulties including worsening relationship problems.  Never let the day pass without spending some time to laugh it loud!

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