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7 Scientific Reasons Why We Should Laugh More

7 Scientific Reasons Why We Should Laugh More

We have all heard the phrase “laughter is the best medicine”; however very few of us know that this has actually been proven to be very much true. A good sense of humor and the ability to laugh can be beneficial for your health physically, emotionally and socially.

It is much cheaper than a trip to the doctor and works much better than any medicine out there, so why not give it a try?

Here are only a handful of reasons why it would be beneficial to anyone out there to develop your sense of humor:

1. It is linked to healthy function of blood vessels.

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Liver and vessels Posterior view

    Laughter triggers the dilation or expansion of the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels, increasing blood flow. “It is conceivable that laughing may be important to maintain a healthy endothelium, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease,” says principal investigator Michael Miller.

    2. It improves emotional health.

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      Laughter and humor trigger the brain’s emotional and reward centers, releasing dopamine, which helps the brain to process emotional responses and enhances the experience of pleasure; serotonin, which lifts moods; and endorphins which regulates pain and stress and induces euphoria.

      Laughter mimics the euphoric states experienced in communal music-making and dancing. Evidence suggests these states are associated with the release of endorphins.

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      3. It plays an important role in social interaction and bonding.

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        It has been hypothesized that laughter has been around long before humans begun to use speech. Therefore there are already instinctive social cues humans are aware of in a social situation.

        Laughter plays an important role in regulating conversation in humans and is also significant in facilitating social bonding between groups of individuals. A sense of humor is important in interpersonal communication and attraction, and an important component of social competence. A healthy sense of humor bonds friends and family and reinforces group identity. It can even be argues that laughter can promote a happier marriage.

        4. It makes you more attractive.

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          Studies have shown that men with a good sense of humor are found more attractive. In turn, men are more attracted to women who laugh at their jokes. It makes you more comfortable to be around in social situations, such as parties, allowing you to broaden your social circles. It is also argued that having a good sense of humor in a job interview increases your chances of getting hired.

          5. It lowers stress and anxiety levels.

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            Humor is described as an element of resilience and can allow you to put everyday problems in perspective, increasing your coping capabilities in difficult situations. It moderates the adverse effects of stress on health and promotes a positive mood to cancel out negative emotions. It helps to see the funny side in adverse situations. Genuine laughter is also contagious, so why not help improve someone’s mood by sharing a laugh with them?

            6. It strengthens the immune system.

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              Stressful experiences in everyday life suppress the immune system, from the simplest situations such as the car not wanting to start, increasing the risk of infectious illness and heart disease. A good sense of humor prevents stress from affecting the immune system, protecting you from disease.

              7. It beneficial to the respiratory system.

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                Laughter provides the fastest and easiest method of regulating breathing and flushing out the lungs. It leads to an immediate increase in heart rate, respiratory rate and oxygen consumption. Enthusiastic prolonged laughter rids the lungs of residual air and replaces it with fresh, oxygen-rich air. In simple terms, it allows you to breathe deeper, improving respiratory health especially for those with respiratory ailments such as asthma. It is so effective in fact, that Laughter Yoga has been developed. Laughter Yoga recharges the body and controls the mental state by regulating the flow of ‘life force’, inducing calmness, focus and energy.

                Featured photo credit: Emma Watson Laughing HD via hdwallpaper.freehdw.com

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                Last Updated on October 15, 2018

                Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

                Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

                “Why am I so tired?” is a question that people ask themselves pretty frequently. Everyone gets tired at one point or another, particularly after something like an illness, a long night up with a sick child, or a busy week at work. When tiredness is persistent, however — when you feel tired as soon as you wake up in morning or when sleep doesn’t seem to help, no matter how much rest you get— it may often indicate a deeper, underlying problem.

                While there are a lot of possible reasons for tiredness, here’re some of the most common causes of fatigue:

                1. Dehydration

                If you want to boost your energy levels, first check whether you are dehydrated. The human brain is 85% water, and needs to maintain this level in order to perform its essential functions.

                If you fail to drink enough water, the brain extracts fluids from your blood to compensate for the deficit. As a result, the oxygen levels in your blood drop, reducing the amount of energising oxygen available to your organs and tissues. Fatigue and sleepiness set in rapidly, leaving you more vulnerable to the 2 pm post-lunch crash that many of us experience.

                You cannot cure this crash with caffeine – the only long-term, effective solution is to drink hydrating fluids throughout the day.

                2. Lack Of Exercise

                A workout will surely leave you feeling even more tired, right? Wrong! As counterintuitive as it may sound, physical activities have an energizing effect. Moving your body releases endorphins, increases your heart rate, and boosts your concentration.

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                Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of medium-intensity exercise every day. It’s easiest if you can make this part of our everyday routine, either as soon as you wake up or right after work.

                3. A Poor Diet

                The food you eat has a direct impact on sleep quality and the amount of rest you get every night. For maximum energy, stick to protein, slow-release carbohydrates, and a moderate amount of healthy (unsaturated) fats. The majority of your food should be plant-based, high in fiber, and low in sugar. These choices will prevent blood sugar fluctuations, which can leave you feeling exhausted.

                An easy way to make sure you stick to a good diet is through meal preparation. It’s easy to just get take-out when you’re tired after work, but if you have a meal ready for you in the fridge, you’ll be less tempted by pizza or cheese.

                Find out more about healthy meal prep here: 10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily

                4. Skipping Breakfast

                Physician Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan advises that eating breakfast is key to maintaining a good level of energy throughout the day. When you eat breakfast, you are sending calming signals to the areas of the brain responsible for avoiding danger, along with those that instruct the body to conserve as much energy as possible.

                Ingesting food signals to your brain that there is enough food available to ensure our survival. This encourages it to stay relaxed, which in turn, promotes restful sleep.

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                Some great ideas for a healthy, filling, and make-ahead breakfasts include overnight oats, smoothies, and freezer-friendly breakfast burritos.

                Or if meal-prepping isn’t your think, stock up on easy but healthy breakfast foods like multigrain cereal, yogurt, and fruit: 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

                5. Poor Quality Of Sleep

                We all know that it’s important to wind down a couple of hours before bed. But did you know that it’s what you do throughout the day that promotes good-quality sleep? It’s not just about the number of hours you sleep, but how restful and deep that sleep is.

                TO feel rested, try to regulate your everyday routine to make your sleep deeper and better. Get up at a regular time in the morning to ensure that you get regular sunlight.

                Eat nutritious foods in moderate amounts, and make sure you stay hydrated. Go to bed at the same time. And before bedtime, avoid screens that can give off harmful blue light and also keep you stimulated when you need to prepare for a restful night.

                Read more about how to develop a routine that will get you better sleep: Poor Sleep Quality Comes from All the Things You Do Since Morning

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                6. Sleep Apnea (A Person’s Airways Get Blocked off While They Are Asleep)

                Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where a person’s airways get blocked off while they are asleep, causing their oxygen levels to drop while they are asleep. This often causes people to stop breathing at night and then to jerk themselves awake (this can happen over 30 times an hour).

                Because of this, people with sleep apnea can feel short of breath and have low energy levels. Mouthpieces and other devices to aid in breathing as well as the use of a special breathing machine to keep oxygen levels in a safe zone.

                If you feel tired all the time and think you might have sleep apnea, consulting with a doctor is important. Do a sleep study, as this can often reveal if there is an underlying problem causing your tiredness — and once a diagnosis is made, treatment to help you get your energy back begins.

                7. Depression

                Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the United States (and in many other countries of the world as well). It is marked by persistent feelings of sadness or unhappiness but has physical symptoms, too. Apart from fatigue, people may also experience changes in sleeping and eating habits and difficulty concentrating.

                Treatment can often center on anti-depressants, counselling and lifestyle changes like stress management to help manage this condition. You can take a look at these 15 Ways To Overcome Depression And Sadness.

                Many people also benefit from activities like yoga and meditation, which help regulate both the body and mind.

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                8. Hypothyroidism

                If a person has hypothyroidism, their thyroid gland does not produce adequate levels of these important hormones— and the result can be a persistent and unrelenting fatigue, even if someone is getting enough sleep. Other common symptoms of this disorder include mood swings, weight gain and feeling cold all the time.

                Fortunately, simple blood work can reveal if there is a problem and it can be treated with artificial thyroid hormone pills like Synthroid. Check here for signs of having a thyroid problem. If you suspect that you might have hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor.

                9. Anemia

                People with anemia are not able to make enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the their bodies. This is often due to a lack of nutrients like iron or B-12 and can be caused by problems such as heavy periods, bleeding in the digestive tract or pregnancy (due to the increased demands of the growing baby).

                However, in most cases, this can be resolved with treatments like changes in diet, iron supplements or B-12 shots.

                While here are some drinks you can try to relieve symptoms of Anemia, it’s best to do a blood test and consult your doctor in case of any hidden medical conditions.

                10. Cancer

                While you shouldn’t be freaking out about cancer just because you are tired, it is a fact that fatigue is one of the symptoms of cancer. Other common symptoms can include unexplained weight loss and the presence of palpable lumps or growths. This disease is marked by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells that can do damage to surround tissues and possibly spread to other parts of the body.

                Diagnosis is usually by biopsy and treatment often focusses on radiation, chemotherapy or surgery— and generally when a diagnosis is made early, the outcomes for the patient are better.

                Featured photo credit: Lily Banse via unsplash.com

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