HT Image
HT Image

Why Laughing Out Loud is good for you

Although the idea that laughter improves health has been around for centuries, the modern therapeutic use of humour originated in the 1970s when American journalist Norman Cousins documented laughing as a major curative factor during his prolonged ailment.
By Kavita Devgan | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2012 08:00 PM IST
Although the idea that laughter improves health has been around for centuries, the modern therapeutic use of humour originated in the 1970s when American journalist Norman Cousins documented laughing as a major curative factor during his prolonged ailment. He stated that 10 minutes of laughing gave him two hours of drug-free relief from pain. Cousins was laughed at then (ironic, isn’t it?). But today science seems to have proved him right. A good sense of humour means all is well.



So what is humour, really?

"Humour consists of laughter (the physiological component), wit (the cognitive component), and mirth (the emotional component)," explains Dr Ashima Puri, consultant psychologist, New Delhi.



"Humour can actually change our feelings, thoughts, behaviours and biochemistry. It is a perfect self-care tool to cope with stress. We know that there is a connection between stress and high blood pressure, muscle tension, suppressed immunity and other diseases. Now studies have proven that laughter is the perfect antidote for stress," she adds.



So while stress is inevitable in life, it doesn’t have to take a physiological toll on us. You just need a good belly laugh to drive it away.

Split your sides

Besides its psychological benefits, laughter gives your body direct boost too. In fact, it has been found that intense and regular laughter increases the flow of oxygen through your body.



Dr Puri quotes a study conducted in the US. A group of people were given a funny video to watch, while another group watched a documentary. Afterwards, both groups were tested and those who had watched the comedy had higher levels of immunoglobulin A – a substance found in saliva and the first defence the body has against viruses and bacteria. Laughter provides exercise too. Hearty laughter can burn calories equivalent to several minutes on the rowing machine.



And here’s the clincher. Laughter can make you look younger. It tones facial muscles and leads to an increase of blood supply to the area, which nourishes facial skin.



Make it a habit

No one believes that laughter can cure a disease all by itself. But it can be used to strengthen both the mind and the body. Create a laughter first aid kit with humorous videos, books and cartoons and use it when you want to feel better. Or join a laughter club. Make laughter a priority. After all, it is free.

Chuckle chart
Laughter increases immunoglobin A which fights upper respiratory diseases.
It increases tolerance to pain by increasing levels of natural pain-killing opioids.
It brings in more oxygen and keeps the internal organs moving.
It raises immunity by boosting the production of white blood cells.

From HT Brunch, January 22

Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch
Connect with us on facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Ricardo Sciutto, CEO of Italian footwear brand Sergio Rossi
Ricardo Sciutto, CEO of Italian footwear brand Sergio Rossi

Indian embroidery brings about cross-influence, but it’s tricky: Ricardo Sciutto

By Shruti Nair
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:59 PM IST
Riccardo Sciutto, CEO of Italian footwear brand, Sergio Rossi, pointed out how it’s more difficult to understand the market for footwear and jewellery as compared to clothing
Close
Myntra’s CEO, Amar Nagaram
Myntra’s CEO, Amar Nagaram

“Next step: apps must include luxury items”

By Shruti Nair
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:23 PM IST
Myntra CEO says that the younger generation has more disposable income and is more willing to spend on luxury
Close
HT Image
HT Image

“Made in Italy means high-quality craftsmanship”

By Shruti Nair
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:12 PM IST
Vincenzo De Luca, the Italian Ambassador to India, spells out why Italian fashion is so loved around the world
Close
Stefano Canali of Canali Menswear, which has had a brand presence in India since 2009
Stefano Canali of Canali Menswear, which has had a brand presence in India since 2009

The Nawab jacket was our tribute to India: Stefano Canali

By Shruti Nair
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:07 PM IST
Canali Menswear has had a brand presence in India since 2009
Close
Alessandro Liberatori, Director of the ITA
Alessandro Liberatori, Director of the ITA

“‘Made in Italy’ extends beyond fashion…”

By Shruti Nair
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:19 PM IST
Alessandro Liberatori, Director of the ITA, says India is one of the most important markets for fashion, and will be valued at $93 million by 2025
Close
(Top) Gong Bao chicken at Hyatt Regency; Mai Bao restaurant was jam-packed for an event on Valentine’s Day
(Top) Gong Bao chicken at Hyatt Regency; Mai Bao restaurant was jam-packed for an event on Valentine’s Day

Rude food by Vir Sanghvi: Welcome back, restaurants!

PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:58 PM IST
Yes, it’s time to eat out again and enjoy the full experience. As long as you follow physical distancing and remember to sanitise and wear a mask except while you’re eating!
Close
From diving into dark chocolate sorbet to immersing in hours of literary fiction, decadence is in (Parth Garg)
From diving into dark chocolate sorbet to immersing in hours of literary fiction, decadence is in (Parth Garg)

Humour by Rehana Munir: In defence of decadence

By Rehana Munir
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:58 PM IST
Equanimity has its sensible uses, but nothing succeeds like excess. Especially after the year and then some spent in lockdown
Close
Thick and bushy eyebrows is the way to go for a natural look; Model: Naveed Khan (A theatre actor and model from Afghanistan) (Yatan Ahluwalia)
Thick and bushy eyebrows is the way to go for a natural look; Model: Naveed Khan (A theatre actor and model from Afghanistan) (Yatan Ahluwalia)

Men’s Style & Grooming by Yatan Ahluwalia: Casual is cool

By Yatan Ahluwalia
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:58 PM IST
A style guide to creating a casual look that suits your personality and fits you just right. Something for every kind of occasion
Close
How to make sneakers sexy and why kaftan suits all
How to make sneakers sexy and why kaftan suits all

Ami Patel: How to up your sneaker game & why kaftans work

By Ami Patel
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:56 PM IST
Ditch those stilettos and embrace your comfy, sexy sneakers; and knee-length kaftans that work for even those who are 4 feet zilch
Close
Gaurav opines that if you want to upgrade an iPhone every year, then you’re not going to find any major difference or notice tangible improvements with every upgrade
Gaurav opines that if you want to upgrade an iPhone every year, then you’re not going to find any major difference or notice tangible improvements with every upgrade

Technical Guruji: When do you upgrade your iPhone?

By Gaurav Chaudhary
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:58 PM IST
Eyeing the new iPhone? Well, considering it will burn a hole in your pocket, it’s best to wait for at least two years to upgrade to another
Close
Chef Prateek suggests saving all the vegetable trimmings and freezing them
Chef Prateek suggests saving all the vegetable trimmings and freezing them

Prateek Sadhu: Stocking up on stock

By Prateek Sadhu
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:56 PM IST
How can you make non-vegetarian or vegetarian stock and use it for the whole week, especially with offices opening up or WFH becoming more hectic?
Close
(From left) Islamabad resident Dananeer Mobin, 19, whose pawri/party video went viral and music producer Yashraj Mukhate, 25, whose pawri mash-up started trending
(From left) Islamabad resident Dananeer Mobin, 19, whose pawri/party video went viral and music producer Yashraj Mukhate, 25, whose pawri mash-up started trending

HT Brunch Social Media Star of the Week: Pawrriii… aka Party

By Karishma Kuenzang
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:55 PM IST
The word with an exaggeratedly rolled American R became a meme and showed us how having an accent has gone from elite to funny
Close
Mandvi Sharma, who was Shah Rukh Khan’s publicist for several years, now works with the likes of Kamal Haasan
Mandvi Sharma, who was Shah Rukh Khan’s publicist for several years, now works with the likes of Kamal Haasan

HT Brunch Game Show: Which star has the right idea of fame?

By Karishma Kuenzang
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:54 PM IST
The actor who believes that social media following shouldn’t affect the films they do, who says one shouldn’t idolise celebs, or the one who believes the mystery of stars is a thing of the past
Close
Did Shonda Rhimes’ version of Bridgerton work for you or do you prefer the book by Julia Quinn?
Did Shonda Rhimes’ version of Bridgerton work for you or do you prefer the book by Julia Quinn?

HT Brunch Sunday Debate: Play it by the book

By Vivek Bhattacharyya, Ritika Passi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:54 PM IST
A bookworm and a bingewatcher who’ve watched and read the books Bridgerton is based on argue which version works better
Close
David remembers that when he first came to India, EDM was still a little bit new but the response was still amazing. The scene has only become bigger, he opines
David remembers that when he first came to India, EDM was still a little bit new but the response was still amazing. The scene has only become bigger, he opines

India Exclusive: India on the cards for David Guetta?

By Karishma Kuenzang
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:53 PM IST
The French DJ talks about post-Covid performances, the rise and fall of EDM and returning to the subcontinent
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP