Stress, as we all know, can affect our health negatively; allergies can be worsened by stress not to mention susceptibility to mental illness. Stress can worsen learning ability and memory in elderly people because it increases the production of the hormone “cortisol” which causes damage to the brain’s neurons. Laughter is considered a stress reliever and a mean to improve the quality of life.
A study analyzed two groups of elderly people; a group was required to watch a funny video before taking a memory test and the other group took the test without watching this video. Levels of cortisol for the participants were recorded before and after the experience. It is found that the cortisol levels for the group who watched the humorous video were reduced significantly compared to the other group who did not watch the video.
Thus, you can say that humor reduces stress hormones, increases the mood state and lowers blood pressure. Actually, laughter releases more endorphins in the brain which gives a sense of pleasure, and these neurochemical changes in the brain can improve memory. So, laughter turns out to be a memory enhancer and a beneficial therapy for age- related memory deficit.
Humor is infectious and laughter is more contagious than any disease; when it is shared, it increases intimacy and happiness among people. Laughter strengthens your immune system, diminishes pain, boosts your energy and best of all it is a free medicine and easy to use.
It is a powerful antidote to pain and stress, and it can bring your body and mind back into balance. To sum up, humor inspires hopes, connects you to those around you and keeps you alert and focused.