by Dr. C. Raghu, Cardiologist, Aster Prime Hospitals,
Every year, the first Sunday in May is observed as World Laughter Day. It is a known fact that people with short temper and aggressive nature are prone to having high blood pressure and stand a chance of suffering heart attacks. Some doctors even warn such people that they should not get annoyed easily as it is not good for the heart.
Recent research has found that the incidence of heart attack is lower in laughers. Let us understand how to reduce the risk of heart attack by smiling our way through life.
HEART TOO PARTICIPATES IN LAUGHING
Though laughing is a bodily function, the heart also has a role to play in it. It is only a hearty laugh that can keep heart diseases at bay. Laughing is a characteristic feature of man. So far, there has been no man on earth who has not laughed.
Some people smile to make a mockery of others, while a few try to insult others by laughing, and other egoistic persons may simper. This type of laughing will do no good to the heart.A grin, smile, smirk, giggle, chortle or a chuckle would not benefit the heart. Laughing heartily alone will have an impact on the heart.
WHAT HAPPENS PHYSIOLOGICALLY WHEN WE SMILE HEARTILY
When you laugh heartily, the lungs, facial muscles and micro muscles in some other important organs in the body get involved in the process. Such laughter will revitalise your spirit. With all these positive factors working together, the cardiac muscles also get strengthened and increase the efficiency of the heart.
BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER
A hearty laugh is very good for the health as it reduces the cortisol in the blood,which reduces the incidence of Diabetes and Heart Attack.
1. Laughing heartily for just 15 minutes would give you the result of sleeping for two hours.
2. Smiling for just 15 seconds would increase your life span by 2 days.
3. It was proven through research that laughers live 8 years more than those who are serious.
Doctors suggest a change in lifestyle to keep heart diseases away, like eating nutritious food, exercising daily and now, laughing heartily has also been added to the list. It was proven scientifically too that heartfelt laughter would help recover from heart diseases.
As part of a study, a group of people were divided into two sections. One section was exposed to serious movies and the other to hilarious comedies.It was found that in people who saw comedies for 15 minutes, blood supply to various organs was improving. It was also found that in these people, the dilation and contraction of blood vessels has improved. All these facts prove that laughterand prevention of heart diseases are connected to each other and that laughter is the best medicine for many ailments.
People working overtime face mental exertion, and if they do not keep themselves lighthearted, chances of suffering heart diseases are more, said some professors at a seminar in Europe held last year.
When we laugh, endorphins are released into the body, which keep the blood vessels healthy for a long time. Not just this, in those who had suffered heart attack once, laughter reduces chances of an attack for a second time, according to some studies.
Earlier, people had enough time to laugh heartily. Now, this time has reduced drastically. According to a study, in 1950, every person laughed for 18-20 minutes. Now, the duration has reduced to 4-6 minutes, which means that in the last 50 years, the time invested in laughter has reduced to one-fourth.
Infants laugh 400 times a day and the elders too try to keep them happy. When children keep growing, the frequency of laughing reduces and now, adults are laughing not more than 4-6 times a day.
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