Funny Thoughts Can Reduce Stress
It may be a cliché, but it seems that laughter really is the best medicine – and what’s more, just thinking about laughing is enough!
Researchers have discovered that anticipating a funny experience reduces the number of stress hormones in our bodies (which can weaken our immune systems), and increases the beneficial ones. Scientists measured levels in volunteers who were told they would be watching a funny film and discovered that their beta-endorphins (which alleviate depression) had increased by 27% and human growth hormone (which helps with immunity) had soared by an amazing 87%.
Dr. Lee Berk, the study team’s lead researcher, said, ‘Our findings lead us to believe that by seeking out positive experiences that make us laugh we can do a lot with our physiology to stay well’.
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