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Science has recently proved it: Laughter is good for the heart and extends life

Laughing is good blood, the old saying goes. Laughing is good for the heart, confirms original scientific research recently presented in Orlando, Florida, at the American College of Cardiology, the most important appointment of the year for cardiologists from all over the world.
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Laughing is good blood, says an old proverb. Laughing is good for the heart, confirms original scientific research recently presented in Orlando, Florida, at theAmerican College of Cardiology , the most important event of the year for cardiologists from all over the world.

Laughter is a real drug, the researchers suggest, with lots of indications.

Dosage: one administration of 15 minutes per day.
Effects: improvement of blood circulation and prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Contraindications: none.
A medicine that is good for everyone, young and old, men and women. Now scholars from the University of Maryland in Baltimore tell us that the laugh is capable of stimulating theexpansion of the endothelium, the inner lining of blood vessels, thus favoring the passage of blood, exactly as it happens with exercise.
And they demonstrate it in an original, but scientific way: by measuring the blood flow in the artery of the arm of 20 volunteers with ultrasound, before and after the screening of two films, one cheerful and one dramatic.
The first, "King Pin", is a comedy by the Farrelly brothers (the ones from "Everyone's Mad About Mary"). A series of gags was enough for all but one of the experiment participants to show relaxed arteries it's a increased blood flow for a time ranging from half an hour to 45 minutes after viewing the film.

Exactly the opposite happened to those same people when they watched the sequences, as spectacular as they were violent, of the Normandy landings with which Spielberg's film "Saving Private Ryan" opens: in fourteen of the twenty volunteer spectators the arteries narrowed and blood flow was reduced.

«On average - said one of the American researchers, Michael Miller - the flow increases by 22 percent as a result of laughter And decreases by 35 percent during mental stress. There is a great variability between person and person, but everything that affects the emotional state of an individual has a major impact on the heart".

L'endothelium is the starting point of the processes that lead toatherosclerosis, that is tohardening of the arteries and their narrowing, situations that increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

And if it is true that the laugh helps maintain a healthy endothelium, it is conceivable that it can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

“Laughter, like exercise,” says Miller, “stimulates the endorphin production, chemicals that have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system.

The changes we have seen in the endothelium are similar to those observed as a consequence of aerobic activity, but without the pain, aches and muscle tension associated with the latter ".
If laughter appears as effective as physical exercise in stimulating the health of the vessels, this does not mean that we should give up physical activity as a system for preventing cardiovascular diseases.

Other recent scientific discoveries have shown that a smile and a good mood extend life.

This is what the Professor Ed Diener, of the University of Illinois Department of Psychology, which he recently published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Health and Well-Being the largest review ever made on this subject, taking ben 160 searches.

It is defined Subjective Wellness - in initials SWB, from the English Subjective Well Being - and quantifies the judgment that everyone gives to his life, the degree of existential and professional satisfaction.

A high SWB has a direct effect on health and on the longevity, doing it even increase by 14 %.

Diener, who has been studying the happiness and its effects, it believes to this "healthy" effect compete above all 4 factors:

  • Satisfaction in life
  • Absence of negative emotions
  • Optimism
  • Presence of positive emotions

The latter, however, must be moderate, because if they are excessive or too sudden they have paradoxical negative effects. Be careful, so to speak, the winners of the billionaire lotteries, which could have nasty surprises.

A little bit of humorhowever, it can always help, because as the Norwegian study HUNT 2 has shown, following 53,500 people for over 7 years, taking things with irony extends life.

Conversely, in another research (examined by Diener in his review) on 4,989 people followed by their youth for over 40 years, it was found that those who were pessimistic curmudgeon even as a young man, he found himself more battered as an elderly person or even lived less.
That a low Subjective Well-being can favor theonset of diseases, moreover, it is proved by other researches.
When, for example, optimism is prevented by a condition of major depression, the risk of cardiovascular diseases increases by 2.7 %. Indeed, a simple one is enough depressed mood to raise the risk of 1.5%.
Positive feelings like joy, hope, desire to do, existential satisfaction, hope for the future, optimism and humor, on the other hand, they also have good effects in the face of disease, as it has been shown in HIV-infected patients with renal failure, affected by heart attack, and can even improve the response to palliative care given in the case of severe cancers.

To conclude:
a good, practical recipe for a healthy lifestyle, the researchers suggest, would include thirty minutes of physical activity three times a week and a quarter of an hour of laughter a day.

You can find out more about these topics in my book >> "Laugh from the Heart"

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Gianni Ferrario
Gianni Ferrario

I am known as a Zen Jester, Happiness Actor, Good Mood Trainer, Positive Provoker, a performer whose role is to interactively energize and excite people. The purpose of my activities is to fill up with regenerating energy capable of opening the channels of communication and emotions, awakening our cells and training to spread good humor, joy, enthusiasm and kindness in abundance in personal and professional life. A memorable experience that creates team spirit, leaving its mark. For many years I have been practicing and teaching Deep Meditation, dedicating myself to disciplines that favor inner growth, harmony and creativity.

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