Laughing may help reduce stress and improve memory

They say that laughter is the best medicine and now recent research shows that it might also be good for your memory.

Scientists at Loma Linda University in California recently carried out a study to see if laughter can help improve short-term memory. They asked 20 adults to watch an amusing film for 20 minutes while another group were asked to sit calmly without watching anything. Following this, both groups performed a memory test and had saliva samples taken which were tested for the stress hormone cortisol.

Laughing

The results showed that the people who had watched the comedy performed better in the short-term tests than those who hadn’t been laughing. They also revealed that the levels of the stress hormone cortisol were much lower in the group that had been laughing.

‘Learning ability and delayed recall become more challenging as we age,’ says study author Gurinder Bains.

‘Laughing with friends or even watching 20 minutes of humour on TV, as I do daily, helps me cope with my daily stressors.’

He added that people who are less stressed tend to have a better memory. This is because laughter increases the level of endorphins in the body and this sends dopamine to the brain, providing a feeling of happiness and reward. This changes the activity of brain waves resulting in improved memory.