Learning to laugh again may be essential for emotional coping following a disaster situation. (Schwartz, Enid A., RN, MA, MC. Infusing Humor into Healthcare. p 84-85. CE Express.)

Research by Barb Fisher, University of Minnesota: 20 seconds of a good, hard belly laugh is worth three minutes on the rowing machine. Other benefits include: stress reduction, enhanced immune system, strengthened cardiovascular functions, increased oxygenation, improved muscle tone, and helps with digestion and constipation. (Brown, Tata Nicole, managing editor. Holistic Times, Vol 15, No 4, p 27. (Clayton College of Natural Health). Alabama.)

Outlines benefits including strengthening the immune system, helping with stress and pain management, increasing lung ventilation, lowers blood pressure, and is good preventive medicine. (Neylsen-Cannarella, Sandra L., PhD. The Immunology of Humor. Vol 26, No. 4, p. 28-34. January. WA: Spectrum, 1998.)

Humor/laughter can decrease stress, lower blood pressure, relax muscle tension, moderate pain, and boost immune defenses. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 90-92. PA: Rodale, 2003.)

Laughter appears to reduce levels of certain stress hormones (that suppress the immune system, increase platelet levels in arteries, and raise blood pressure). Laughter provides a safety valve that shuts off the flow of stress hormones and the fight-or-flight compounds that come into play in times of stress, rage or hostility. (Bartekian, Vatche. Laughter Can Cure What Ails You. Ask Men web site.)

Research participants had lower levels of stress hormones just anticipating watching a humorous video. Those who manage stress well tend to use humor to deal with difficult situations. (Hafen, Brent Q., et al. Mind/Body Health. 546-547, 550-560. MA: Simon & Schuster, 1996.)

Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like:

  • Cortisol: the primary hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the blood stream
  • Ephinephrine (Adrenaline): increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies
  • Dopamin: is involved in the “fight or flight response” and associated with elevated blood pressure

(Ayasrah, Najla'a. Stress Relief By Laughter.)

Study: moderate conditioned laughter and moderate conditioned exercise both help to create a state of eustress (desirable stress). (Presented in an interview with Dr. Lee S. Berk. Dunn, Joseph R., PhD, Ed. New Discoveries in Psychoneuroimmunology Humor & Health Letter. Vol III. No 6, Nov/Dec. MS: 1994.)

Outlines benefits including strengthening the immune system, helping with stress and pain management, increasing lung ventilation, lowers blood pressure, and is good preventive medicine. (Neylsen-Cannarella, Sandra L., PhD. The Immunology of Humor. Vol 26, No. 4, p. 28-34. January. WA: Spectrum, 1998.)

Laughter produces responses almost identical to those associated with progressive muscle relaxation, a stress-relief technique. Lists 11 strategies for using humor and laughter. Robinson, Maggie, PhD. 20/20 Thinking. p 101-120. NY: Avery, Putnam Special Markets, 2003.)

Under acute stress, the two hemispheres of the brain become disconnected. Laughter improves creativity and problem-solving, and activates the limbic system in the brain, connecting the right and left sides. It helps you do more whole brain work. (O’Donnell, Sinara Stull. Laugh More at Work To Ease Office Stress. www.Careerjournal.com)

Levels of stress hormones (epinephrine, cortisol) were lowered after subjects watched an hour of comic entertainment. (Ornstein, Robert, PhD, and David Sobel, MD. Healthy Pleasures. p 217-219. MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing, 1989.)

Decreases stress-related tension, provides immediate relief from pressure, and builds up an immunity to stress in the long term. (Hafen, Brent Q., et al. Mind/Body Health. p 550-560. MA: Simon & Schuster, 1996.)

Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like:

  • Cortisol : the primary hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the blood stream
  • Ephinephrine (Adrenaline): increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies
  • Dopamin: is involved in the “fight or flight response” and associated with elevated blood pressure

Source

Studies by Berk of Loma Linda University: Mirthful laughter can offset symptoms of chronic stress by diminishing secretion of cortisol and epinephrine while enhancing immune reactivity. Physiological effects of a single one-hour view of a humorous video have appeared to last up to 12-24 hours in some individuals. (http://www.bigmedicine.ca/) Reported April 3, 2006. Berk, Lee S. PhD. Paper presented in an American Physiological Society session at Experimental Biology, 2006.)

Eustress or good stress is created by laughter. An aerobic exercise, laughter can trigger an:

  • Increase in T Cell activity
  • Increase in IgB that helps antibodies attack dysfunctional/infected cells.
  • Increase in natural killer cells

(Fawcett, Carole., Stress Management Consultant/Laughter Coach. Laughter Facts.)

In their best-selling book, "The Okinawa Program," based on an ongoing study of elderly people on the Japanese island of Okinawa, Dr. Bradley J. Wilcox, Dr. Craig Wilcox, and Dr. Makoto Suzuki wrote that "during laughter, muscles throughout your body tense and relax in a way that is strikingly similar to stress-reduction techniques. Laughter keeps muscles supple as well as relaxed. It also has been shown to stimulate the immune system." (The Health Benefits of Laughter. The HeyUGLY.org website.)

Three strategies that are the very best at reducing stress: humor, smiles, and laughter. (Benson, Herbert, MD., with Marg Stark. Timeless Healing. p 277-278. NY: Scribner, 1996.)

Humor helps alleviate the effects of stress. In fact, people with a good sense of humor are less likely to get stressed to begin with. (Hafen, Brent Q., et al. Mind Body Health. p 547. NY: Allyn and Bacon, 1996.)

The use of humor can help people to get through the stress of a crisis. For example, it was reported that a group of office workers at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, managed to keep going down the last 10 flights by pretending it was New Year’s Eve and counting out loud. Encouraged by the levity, they found the energy to go on and made it safely to the street. (Schwartz, Enid A., RN, MA, MC. Infusing Humor into Healthcare. p 83. CE Express.)