You might not need an apple a day to keep the doctor away, because it turns out a good laugh might just do the trick!
When a person is under a lot of stress, the brain releases the hormone cortisol, which can negatively affect memory in elderly people and even contribute to diabetes, heart disease, and issues with blood pressure!
So researchers decided to run some studies to see if a good dose of humor could decrease these negative effects, and they found that laughter is not only the best medicine for stress, but it also has tons of other great side effects as well!
Dr. Lee Berk, who worked on the study, said:
"It’s simple, the less stress you have the better your memory. Humor reduces detrimental stress hormones like cortisol that decrease memory hippocampal neurons, lowers your blood pressure, and increases blood flow and your mood state. The act of laughter—or simply enjoying some humor—increases the release of endorphins and dopamine in the brain, which provides a sense of pleasure and reward. These positive and beneficial neurochemical changes, in turn, make the immune system function better."
Researchers ran a test where they showed a hilarious 20 minute video to a group of elderly people. Right after watching it, they were asked to do a memory assessment test and had their cortisol concentrations measured.
When compared to a group that did NOT watch a video, the first group showed much higher signs of improvement in memory and had much lower levels of stress-induced hormones!
So there you have it! Next time you're feeling a bit down or stressed out from work, take a break and add a little humor to your life! It will help you out in the long run!