“When anybody laughs, he has no mind, no thought, no problem, no suffering.” Sri H. Poonja
Laughter helps the nervous system relax
When you push any engine, including your body, to its maximum, every once in a while it slips a gear. The ways the body manifests that are: irregular heartbeats, high blood pressure, and increased sensitivity to pain. When people use humor, the autonomic nervous system just tones down a bit to take it off high gear, and that allows the heart to relax.
Is Laughter the Best Medicine?
The physiological study of laughter has its own name: “gelotology.” Research has shown that laughing is more than just a person’s voice and movement. Laughter requires the coordination of many muscles throughout the body. Laughter also:
- increases blood pressure
- increases heart rate
- changes breathing
- reduces levels of certain neurochemicals (catecholamines, hormones).
- provides a boost to the immune system.
Laughter increases those feel good endorphins
The answer, reports Robin Dunbar, an evolutionary psychologist at Oxford, is not the intellectual pleasure of cerebral humor, but the physical act of laughing. The simple muscular exertions involved in producing the familiar ha, ha, ha, he said, trigger an increase in endorphins, the brain chemicals known for their feel-good effect.