I’ve challenged myself with discovering 101 things my sister can do to help improve her brain power. I’m adding 1 thing every day, so keep track of what they are, by subscribing to the RSS Feed. That way you won’t miss an important brain building item. Here we go, Brain Power #2!
Laugh often! We’ve all heard the saying that “Laughter is the best medicine” well, it’s true. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, those feel good compounds that act as natural painkillers and mood enhancers.
Laughter is a natural response, that not only makes us feel good, but also helps us deal with stressful situations by activating our autonomic nervous system. Stress, especially chronic ongoing stress, can dramatically impact the body and brain, especially the immune system. It’s like your body is on a caffeine high it can’t come down from; your cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and endocrine systems are in overdrive; and the sympathetic nervous system is on standby, ready to fight or flee. Eventually, the whole system will burn out!
Laughter breaks the stress cycle by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which tells the body to relax and rest. Researchers have found that laughter, especially the deep belly kind, reduces stress hormones and increases immune cell activity. This is great news for the brain, as stress hormones can actually destroy tissue.
Laughter has an added social benefit of bringing people together. It’s hard to watch another person laugh without feeling a bit of the humour yourself! In the social context it acts as a bridge between anxious events and a sense of community. And having a community of supportive people is one of the best ways of building brain power…but that’s for another day!
For Laughter Inducing Reading Material Try:
Any of Bill Bryson’s books on traveling
Stephen Leacock Award for humour-awarded to Canadian writers for literary humour.
Thurber House-Where laughter, learning and literature meet-American humour.
Americas Funniest Videos
Reader’s Digest lists their Top 100 Funniest Films of all time
Have any suggestions for making people laugh? Add it in. And don’t forget to hit the SHARE button below!