Some say laughter is the best medicine. That’s not entirely true, but it is said to be very healthy. In an interview, an expert explains what the positive effects of laughter are all about.
“A day without laughter is a lost day,” the proverb says. Because whether during a good comedy on TV or when someone tells a funny joke: Laughter is good for you – and it’s said to have a positive effect on the body and mind, making it healthy.
Why is it healthy to laugh?
When we laugh together with others, it also strengthens our social bonds, says Prof. Alexander Lerchl in an interview. Lerchl is a professor of biology and ethics at Jacobs University in Bremen.
Laughter is supposed to be healthy. Is that true, and if so, why?
Prof. Alexander Lerchl: “Yes, laughter is indeed healthy because we get into a positive mood and because we can get rid of negative thoughts when we laugh a lot. That works splendidly. And because we often laugh with other people, it’s also good for our social bonds. So there’s a whole lot that happens when we laugh, and it’s generally very healthy.”
What happens in our bodies when we laugh?
Lerchl: “Yes indeed, a whole lot happens in the body when we laugh. For example, oxygen supply is improved because we breathe faster and deeper. Then we strain several muscles that we need to breathe. Sometimes so much that we have sore muscles the next day. There are also instances when we laugh so hard that the tears flow. These are not tears of sadness, of course, but tears of laughter. And interestingly, stress hormones are reduced by laughter. This is a measurable effect that has lasting consequences. The psychological situation also improves sustainably and quite clearly. So a whole lot of things that happen when we laugh.”
Lerchl: “Yes, actually anyone can. For example, by reading funny books. There are a number of books I read over and over again that make me laugh every time. Or by watching funny movies. It works – even if you’ve seen the movies many times, interestingly enough. The gags are shown again and again, and you still have to laugh.
Laughing with friends is especially effective, of course. And there are actually such things as laughter schools and laughter yoga, which has become a bit fashionable lately. So there are plenty of ways you can practice laughing.”
- source: fitbook.de/picture: pixabay.com
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