Cici’s health matters#1: 8 health benefits of LAUGHTER

Welcome to the first episode of Cici’s health matters. Today we’ll be dealing on laughter…yea. Growing up I used to be a Frowner, loved frowning my face. I enjoyed it even. I frowned so much that it took me less muscle power to frown than to smile, believe. I known it happens the other way around for most people but for me I used more muscles to smile because when I smile too much I found that my facial muscles started aching me.

But growing up and with complaints and prayers from friends and relatives alike with added prayers, I began to loosen up and discovered it was more soothing to laugh/smile than frown.

While laughter does a whole lot of good for the soul, there are several health and skin benefits attached to it. Below are eight should know …..

Chemical effect
Laughing triggers a chemical effect in the body, and makes it produce biochemical substances –  endorphins – such as serotonin and adrenaline; these boost the immune system, activating the cells – the lymphocytes – and stimulating their division.

Increased visual acuity and improved sense of smell
When you laugh till you cry, it’s really good for your eyes, having an effect on visual acuity and making you see colours more vividly. In fact, a good laugh clears not just the eyes but the ears and nose, too, and can improve your sense of smell.

Reduces risk of heart disease
Many research studies have proved that laughter exerts a positive effect on the heart in addition to lowering the risk of heart disease by 40%. Laughing enhances blood flow to the heart and improves the functioning of blood vessels which ultimately offers protection against cardiovascular health complications like heart attack. 

Helps in weight loss
Most of us turn to junk food (so-called ‘comfort food’ by many) or chocolates, when we are tired or stressed-out, which is the main reason for putting on excess weight. But studies claim that laughter can act as an effective aid in curbing your cravings and thus help in weight management. This is because laughing causes the release of a brain chemical called serotonin, which acts as a natural appetite suppressant making you feel full. Also laughter activates body muscles right from the tummy to the shoulders providing similar effects as a ten-minute exercise on rowing machine.

Acts as a natural pain reliever
Laughter triggers the release of the body’s natural feel-good hormones, clinically termed endorphins. Apart from being good for the overall well-being of an individual, these brain chemicals act as a natural painkiller relieving body pain. Laughter is also found to ease certain muscle disorders by hindering the pain-spasm cycle.

Relieves stress
A good, hearty laugh not only relaxes your muscles but also relieves physical tension and stress. It also helps in maintaining a normal blood flow in the body in addition to making you more energetic and happy. Laughter improves supply of oxygen to the brain and various body organs thereby enhancing neurological performance and efficacy and also providing relief from stress.

Helps you sleep better
In the hustle and bustle of life, most of us suffer from lack of sleep which might lead to insomnia or other allied problems like concentration issues and high blood pressure. But, a good dose of laughter acts as a natural aid for a good night’s sleep and also prevents insomnia by triggering the release of sleep-inducing hormones.

Improves skin tone and texture
Research studies have shown that laughter has far-reaching health benefits on the brain and body. It acts as a natural anti-ageing agent that helps you look younger, active and also makes you fit, both mentally and physically. This is because it enhances blood flow to the face and reduces stress (which affects your skin tone and elasticity, causing wrinkles) and provides a natural glow.

Source: 1 & 2

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