Laughing puts the brain into a ‘true meditative state’ AND can improve your memory, researchers claim
Researchers say effect of laughing similar to ‘true meditative state’
Can improve memory and reduce effects of stress
By Mark Prigg from Daily Mail
Laughing could dramatically improve your health – and be as good for you as a deep state of meditation, researchers have found.
Researchers say that laughter can help minimise the damage stress hormones cause.
They say it should be used more as a form of therapy.
Researchers say that laughter can help minimise the damage stress hormones cause, and puts the brain into a ‘true meditative state’
WHAT IS CORTISOL?
Cortisol is a steroid hormone, released in response to stress.
Its primary functions are to increase blood sugar, suppress the immune system, and aid with fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolisms.
When released in response to stress it spares available glucose for the brain, generating new energy from stored reserves, and diverts energy from low-priority activities (such as the immune system) in order to survive immediate threats.
Recent research has shown that the stress hormone cortisol damages certain neurons in the brain and can negatively affect memory and learning ability in the elderly.
Researchers at the Loma Linda University wanted to find out if laughter altered its effects.
it can contribute to a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
Dr. Lee Berk, who also 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.
There are even changes in brain wave activity towards what’s called the ‘gamma wave band frequency’, which also amp up memory and recall.
‘Joyful laughter immediately produces the same brain wave frequencies experienced by people in a true meditative state.’
The researchers said that laughing could actually help improve the memory of some respondents
Gurinder Singh , who led the study, showed a 20-minute laugh-inducing funny video to a group of healthy elderly individuals and a group of elderly people with diabetes.
The groups where then asked to complete a memory assessment that measured their learning, recall, and sight recognition.
Their performance was compared to a control group of elderly people who also completed the memory assessment, but were not shown a funny video.
Cortisol concentrations for both groups were also recorded at the beginning and end of the experiment.
The research team found a significant decrease in cortisol concentrations among both groups who watched the video.
‘Joyful laughter immediately produces the same brain wave frequencies experienced by people in a true meditative state,’ the researchers said.
‘Our research findings offer potential clinical and rehabilitative benefits that can be applied to wellness programs for the elderly,’ Dr. Bains said.
‘The cognitive components—learning ability and delayed recall—become more challenging as we age and are essential to older adults for an improved quality of life: mind, body, and spirit.
‘Although older adults have age-related memory deficits, complimentary, enjoyable, and beneficial humor therapies need to be implemented for these individuals.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2615351/Laughter-really-best-medicine-improve-memory-relaxing-meditating.html#ixzz30Ha5NpgF
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook