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15 Things That Happen To Your Brain And Body When You Laugh

By Nitin Bhatnagar, 24 June 2018

A lot is being said about the importance of healthy diet and lifestyle for being fit but there is one more thing which is quite necessary for a person to remain healthy and that is laughter!

If an individual doesn’t feel good or happy, he can never be considered healthy, whether physically or emotionally. Now we don’t recommend you to eat junk food or sugary items because you might feel good after consuming them but we are intended to say that most of the times, happy people are healthy people.

We smile if something good or funny happens but this smile turns into laughter when someone cracks a joke or does something extremely hilarious.

There is no denying the fact that laughter is good for not just our mind but our body as well. The study of laughter is called gelotology and it is not a simple process but a lot of things happen in brain and body during this procedure.

1How does the process start?

An electrical wave runs to the cerebral cortex, the largest part of the brain, if a person gets to hear something funny or sees some hilarious thing and all this happens within the four-tenth of the second. The giggle happens if the wave took a negative charge but if it takes a positive charge, nothing happens.

How does the process start?

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2Analysis of a joke by the brain

Brain’s left side analyzes words and structure of the joke as the left side is responsible for judgment and checking the rationality. This is why, an individual who is more analytical and methodical in his approach is said to be left-brained. One more function that the left-side of the brain does is to control the right side of the body.

Analysis of a joke by the brain

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3What if it’s without words?

As we said, it is the brain which analyzes the words and structure of the joke but what if it is without words or non-verbal? In that case, the left side of the brain takes into consideration the situation and facts related to it; for example, the analysis of facial expressions.

What if it’s without words?

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4Frontal lobe starts its work

Now the brain’s frontal lobe starts working as it is responsible for thinking and it begins studying the details of the joke. After this, the emotionally active side of the brain, i.e., right hemisphere of the cortex, which is creative and fluid, tries to find the probability of humor and makes an attempt to get the joke. The neurons also get activated as the stimulus is received by the occipital lobe, the visual processing area, which has to be very fast to understand what our eyes have just seen.

Frontal lobe starts its work

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5Joke gets processed

When the joke is processed, an output response is also triggered and this is directly related to how funny the joke has been considered by the brain. This can result in the contraction of 15 facial muscles and eyes get half-shut while breathing gets irregular as we laugh.

Joke gets processed

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6Effect on whole body

Once a person’s giggle or chuckle gets transformed into a complete laughter, its effects can be seen on the entire body. Muscles of the whole body experience contraction once the chuckle gets spread through our respiratory process and during it, a tickle waves all through the body.

Effect on whole body

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There are some other effects of laughter on our body as well:

7Makes us strong, emotionally as well as physically

As we start laughing, endorphins hormones are released by our body; these hormones are responsible for making us feel positive and better. At the same time, they also make us emotionally stronger and decrease physical pain by interacting with the receptors in the brain and reducing the perception of pain.

Laughing makes you strong

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8Lowers blood pressure

Normally whenever a person is under stress, cortisol is produced by the adrenaline gland in more than required quantity which results in hypertension or high blood pressure. When a person laughs, secretion of cortisol and epinephrine is reduced. In the beginning, the blood pressure increases but later on the blood vessels expand, resulting in the decrease of blood pressure.

Lowers blood pressure

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9Relaxes the body and reduces stress

Laughter has an immediate effect on our body as it relaxes the complete body for a period of almost 45 minutes which also includes the muscles, jaws and those parts of the brain which are full of stress. So it can be easily said that laughter is one of the best ways to deal with stress.

Relaxes the body and reduces stress

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10Increases the oxygen intake

Yes, you breathe in more oxygen when you laugh and increased intake of oxygen helps in getting rid of many diseases. In fact, some cancer treatment centers use laughter therapy for treating their patients and the best part about it is that it has no side-effects like other medicines which patients have to consume.

Increases the oxygen intake

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11Improves the health of heart

Laughing is also helpful in improving the health of the heart and it can save a person from heart diseases, such as heart attack. The blood vessels expand when a person laughs and it results in good blood flow which in turn improves the overall heart health.

Improves the health of heart

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12Lowers down the blood sugar levels

Diabetes is a disease in which the levels of blood glucose or blood sugar are too high and laughter may not be able to cure it but it may help the diabetic patients in managing it. It is said that laughing can increase the glucose tolerance and bring down the blood sugar levels.

Lowers down the blood sugar levels

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13Stops ageing

Believe it or not but if you laugh a lot, your ageing process will get delayed. This is definitely one of the most amazing benefits of laughing. Wondering how does it happen? Well due to laughter, the rate of cellular decay is reduced and this helps in keeping you young.

Stops ageing

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14Helps in getting rid of depression

Depression is a state in which a person always feels sad and loses interest or pleasure in daily activities. If a person remains depressed for a long time, it can prove to be very harmful for his health as well as life. In such a scenario, if someone makes a depressed person laugh regularly, there are chances that he may feel better and can get rid of depression without any medication.

Helps in getting rid of depression

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15Improves the health of internal organs

In the process of laughing, a number of muscles get contracted because of which many internal organs get a massage. This improves the health of these internal organs which resultantly enhances their functioning. In fact, this massage can also result in increased metabolism that will be very helpful for those who are working hard for weight-loss.

Improves the health of internal organs

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