top of page

THE SCIENCE OF LAUGHTER

LAUGHTER HAS PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS; IT CHANGES BODY CHEMISTRY AND BRAIN FUNCTION.

  • LAUGHTER IS A POTENT RELEASER OF ENDORPHINS. Laughing with others releases endorphins (the chemicals that help us to feel good) in our brain via opioid receptors. The more opioid receptors in the brain, the more powerful the effect. And, yes, these are the same receptors that highly addictive opioid drugs also bind to, suggesting that laughter induces euphoria in much the same way that a narcotic might.

  • LAUGHTER CONTAGIOUSLY FORMS SOCIAL BONDS. The endorphin effect from the study noted above also describes why laughter seems to be so contagious. Spreading endorphin release through groups promotes feelings of togetherness and safety. The laughter of one member of the group can trigger endorphin release in other members of the group, leading to a chain reaction of laughter among group members.

  • LAUGHTER HAS AN EFFECT SIMILAR TO ANTIDEPRESSANTS. Laughter has been shown to activate the release of serotonin, the neurotransmitter affected by the most common types of antidepressants. The effect may not last as long as antidepressants, but the research demonstrates that laughter triggers at least a potent short-term dump of the chemical into our brains.

  • LAUGHTER IMPROVES YOUR MENTAL HEALTH. Research has found that laughter releases physical and emotional tension, elevates mood, enhances cognitive functioning, and increases friendliness.

  • LAUGHTER PROTECTS YOUR HEART! How about that? Laughter seems to have an anti-inflammatory effect that protects blood vessels and heart muscles from the effects of cardiovascular disease.

Hospital clowns reduce stress and anxiety levels in hospitalized children and their parents.

READ THE SCIENCE-BASED EVIDENCE.

bottom of page