Research shows laughing can improve health

January 19, 2012 1:51:44 PM PST
Hustle and bustle of the New Year have you stressed out already? Maybe it's time to let it all out with a good laugh.

Research shows that laughing not only loosens you up, it also opens up your blood vessels and helps your body fight infections.

Dr. Michael Miller of the University of Maryland School of Medicine says, "Some studies suggest lowering blood pressure. There have been other investigators that have shown there may be an effect on immune response, so perhaps there may be a better response from someone who has a common cold or infections when they laugh."

"Laughter can also increase your resistance to pain," according to one Oxford psychologist, "and it may reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke by lowering the harmful chemicals released during stressful situations."

Dr. Michael Miller believes, "You can easily counteract a stressful response with laughter." He goes on to say that, "Laughter is by far among the best medicines, that we can take."

So what's the best way to get a good chuckle? One recent study finds that watching television sitcoms is the number one way people seek out laughter. Here in New York City, comedy clubs and laughing yoga classes can give you a reason to smile. Whether you spend more time with fun friends, enjoy a funny book or movie, or just try to see the humor in life, it's worth it.

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