What does laughter do to the body?

“Laughter is healthy” is a popular saying. In fact, the positive effect of laughter can also be proven from a medical point of view. It is not for nothing that laughter has been used as therapy in the USA since the 1980s. In the meantime, there are also humorous visits with clowns in many European countries, the aim of which is to cheer up sick children and make them forget their everyday lives. Laughter therapy is also used for people with dementia.

This is what laughter does to the body:

  • Laughter improves lung function and oxygenates the brain.
  • Laughter increases the  immune  system and reduces stress hormones.
  • Humans need 80 muscles to laugh.
  • Laughing for a minute is just as good for your health as jogging for 10 minutes or doing 30 minutes of relaxation exercises.

More facts about laughter

What else you should know about laughter:

  • The American scientist Paul Ekman discovered 19 different types of laughter. Only one variant is real. All others serve to adjust within society. For example, smiling out of politeness or to hide insecurities.
  • The ability to laugh is innate. Toddlers  can laugh up to 500 times a day. However, as a result of upbringing and social constraints, laughter is reduced with age.
  • The science that studies the effects of laughter on the body and psyche is called gelotology (from the Greek “gelos” – laughter).

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