Had a good laugh lately? Laughter connects people, eases trouble and makes the day brighter. It releases stress, activates learning and supports memory. In short, laughter is good for your brain. At Neighbors Who Care, volunteers treat people with respect and dignity and enjoy a good laugh.
Why is laughter so beneficial?
Laughter triggers feel-good chemicals. Bursting into laughter stimulates endorphins. This releases dopamine in the brain where it promotes feelings of pleasure and well-being and even relieves pain. At Neighbors Who Care, we promote feelings of pleasure and well-being.
Laughter helps learning. According to research from the University College London, when people try to understand jokes, it activates parts of the brain important to learning and understanding. At Neighbors Who Care, we are patient when you don’t get the joke right away.
Laughter improves short-term memory. A research study at Loma Linda University in California found that older adults who watched 20 minutes of funny videos prior to memory recall tests did significantly better than adults who were asked to wait quietly. Researchers say laughter reduces stress levels, and when stress is lowered, memory improves. So, making time to laugh may be especially helpful for older adults who are experiencing memory loss. At Neighbors Who Care, we like a good laugh while arriving early for an appointment.
Laughter engages the whole brain. Laughter sustains high-amplitude gamma waves throughout the entire brain. It provides the brain with a workout that promotes clear thinking, focus and thought integration. Brain MRI studies show that laughter has brain effects similar to meditation. At Neighbors Who Care, we encourage low impact exercise and high impact humor.
So, find time to laugh each day. It is good for your brain and your health!