Laughter is a serious business it seems. It is good for you. It is infectious. BUT here’s the crunch – it can also kill you. Yes, it is possible to literally die from laughter—not from the joke itself, but from the body’s reaction to it. Among the many possible medical ways that laughing too hard can kill you are a ruptured brain aneurysm, cardiac arrest, collapsed lung, strangulated hernia, gelastic seizures, stroke and asphyxiation. Hang on – gelastic seiures? It’s ok, I didn’t know what they were either. According to the Epilepsy Association they are partial seizures that start in the hypothalamus as a result of uncontrolled laughing.
An old Yiddish proverb says, “What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.” Everyone knows that laughter makes you feel good and puts you in high spirits, but did you also know that laughter actually causes physiological responses that protect the body from disease and help your vital organs repair themselves? A good laugh can be compared to a mild workout, as it exercises the muscles, gets the blood flowing, decreases blood pressure and stress hormones, improves sleep patterns and boosts the immune system. Furthermore, a study by the John Hopkins University Medical School showed that humor and laughter can also improve memory and mental performance.
Tamara from the Purple Almond published this post about How to do Laughter Yoga.
And back in 2016 I published a post about Laughter as Medicine if you are looking for some more hearty laughs. Just not too hearty….
© Raili Tanska