Laughing is a very fundamental activity. It is an expression of language. From very early time of human evolution, human beings respond to humerous situation by laughing.
There is a phrase in English ‘ smile a lot, it costs nothing’. Neuroscience also supports the fact. Laughing is the best Medicine for an ailing brain.
What is effect of laughing on the brain
Laughter releases endorphins.
Laughing with others releases endorphins (the chemicals that help us to feel good) in our brain via opioid receptors. The more opioid receptors in the brain, the more powerful the effect. These are same receptor where drugs like morphene attach. They make us euphoric.
Laughing decreases pain
The endorphins decrease pain in our body. Laughter, though short acting acts like opioid pain killers.
Laughter has an effect similar to antidepressants.
Laughter has been shown to activate the release of serotonin, the neurotransmitter affected by the most common types of antidepressants. The effect may not last as long as antidepressants, but it can counter depression for short time.
Laughter improves your mental health.
Research has found that laughter releases physical and emotional tension, elevates mood, enhances cognitive functioning, and increases friendliness.
Decreases anxiety and fear
Laughter decreases anxiety and fear. It has effect on our amygdala and limbic lobe. Several researchers have confirmed that in chronic disease laughter helps to counter fear.
Recently laughing is included in alternative therapy of many chronic and terminal diseases like cancer. A new branch of yoga is invented called ‘laughter yoga’ is included in yoga classes.
So laugh a lot. Because it costs nothing. And indeed it’s the best asset for your brain.
Please read and share
Mora-Ripoll R. The therapeutic value of laughter in medicine. Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine. 2010 Nov 1;16(6).