The Positive Effects Of Laughter - Find Out "Is Laughter The Best Medicine?" Here!

What are the positive effects of laughter?

Let’s start with the definition of laughter. Laughter is an audible expression or appearance of happiness, or an inward feeling of joy, such as when someone says they are “laughing on the inside”.

If you are laughing right now, that I would have to bother with this definition that you already know, well then, we are off to a great start. Believe it or not, people are out there searching for the definition of laughter, and you know me, I aim to please.

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Now let’s discuss the positive effects of laughter. We all love a good laugh, but are there physical benefits of laughter that we can measure?

There have actually been studies on laughter that demonstrate the positive effects of laughter. No kidding! Hey if I thought I could have studied this instead of dissecting dead bodies, I would have gone to medical school!

But I digress. Bear with me. Given the topic, it is my one chance to have a little fun with you and not be all serious all the time.

I do, after all, want you to be healthy, so hopefully you will have experienced some of the healing effects of laughter before you are through with this page. And don’t worry, if you haven’t, well, I am not going to quit my day job just yet.

Positive Effects of Laughter - Studies on Laughter - Cardiovascular System

positive effects of laughter

Are there studies on laughter? Well, I am so glad you asked.

The positive effect of laughter have been known for some time. Way back in the 1930s, hospitals used clowns to cheer people with polio. And have you ever seen the movie “Patch Adams?” Back in 1972, the Gesundheit Institute was founded in order to integrate fun, friendship, and the joy of service back into health care.

In the medical journal, Medical Hypothesis, in its May 2009 issue, it said... "It has become increasingly recognized and more widely acknowledged during the past several decades, that a complex relationship exists between behavior associated with emotion and the human cardiovascular (CV) system."

According to this, science has found that both positive and negative emotions have an effect on the human cardiac system.

It was also found that mental stress that came through negative visual and auditory stimuli had a negative effect on the cardiac system, especially affecting the lining of the blood vessels.

Have you seen someone die in a movie? More specifically, have you seen someone die from a heart attack when exposed to the stress of an earth quake, tornado or volcano? This really happens. People really do die from this kind of stress.

Now let’s consider the other end of the spectrum - the positive, healing side.

Regarding the healing effects of laughter, the study also found that laughter that comes from amusement provides a positive benefit to the cardiovascular system.

It said..."Indeed, our studies have demonstrated ....a link between positive emotions and beneficial effects on the vasculature." You can read it for yourself here. (this link opens in a new window)

Positive Effects of Laughter : Other Areas of Health

Here’s another study that was done showing the positive effects of laughter. This study helped us to see how people use humor in coping and achieving social goals. You can view this study here. (this link opens in a new window)

Another study demonstrates the positive effects of laughter when it comes to stress hormone reduction, improving mood, enhancing creativity, pain reduction, improving immunity, and reducing blood pressure. This study may be viewed here. (this link opens in a new window)

Is laughter the best medicine? You be the judge. When it comes to heart health, plentiful copious doses are highly recommended.

Now would be a great time for a killer joke if I only had one. Care to contribute?

Send me your best clean joke and I will print the best ones on this page. Sometimes it is best to quit while you are ahead.

I will let Brian get the ball rolling. He sends in this one:

"Little Kelly was sitting at kitchen breakfast table with her mother.

When Kelly got to the bottom of her hot chocolate she found a small toy army man in her drink.

She said to her mom: "Mommy, it's just like the TV commercial."

Perplexed, her mother asked her: " What do you mean Kelly?"

Kelly replied: " The best part of waking soldiers in your cup!"

Peter sends this one in: "I told my wife what I wanted for my mid-life crisis. I want something that goes from 0 to 180 in 4 seconds flat and is shiny. So you know what she got me? A scale."

Another great one, this one from my SBI coach's 8 year old daughter, Sylvia:

"Becky (Sylvia's mom) and Sylvia were at Bello's market and passed thru the deli area.

Sylvia kept asking why they had "lion meat" in there and why it smelled so bad.

Becky thought nothing of it until they went back thru on way out.

Sylvia said, Mom, don't take me back there by the lion meat.

Then Becky realized that the tags all said... LOIN."

Kids say the funniest things! Thanks, Brian!

Here's something else. I’ll bet you think PubMed is pretty dry reading. Sometimes they tell jokes on pubmed. Really. Hey, doctors are people too! Check this one out:

PubMed Tells A Joke.

The positive impact of laughter on our immune system has also been well studied. At the same time, overt crying can suppress our immune system, so if you don’t like this page, you don’t have to laugh , but please don’t cry.

You can view this study

here. (this link opens in a new window)

When it comes to the positive effects of laughter, what about laughter in the Bible? Proverbs 17:22 tells about the healing effects of laughter, telling us that “A heart that is joyful does good as a curer, but a spirit that is stricken makes the bones dry.” - New World Translation.

So is laughter the best medicine? When it comes to heart health, immunity, stress relief and other areas of our health, I can't think of anything better to take that has no known negative side effects!

So grab your favorite joke book, head out to a funny movie, or go visit Aunt Ethel for the weekend!

Laughter is healthy for you!

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