Showing posts with label Endorphins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Endorphins. Show all posts

Jun 12, 2015

Six Benefits of Laughter

Laughter increases a sense of well being and doctors find that people who have a positive outlook on life tend to fight diseases better than negative people. Laugh a little or laugh a lot, it is all good.

1. Laughing lowers blood pressure, which reduces risk of strokes and heart attacks.
2. It reduces stress hormone levels and cuts the anxiety and stress impacting your body.
3. It tones your abs by expanding and contracting stomach muscles.
4. It improves cardiac health and burns a similar amount of calories per hour as walking at a slow to moderate pace.
5. It boosts T cells to help you fight off sickness.
6. Laughing triggers the release of endorphins, which can help ease chronic pain and make you feel good all over.

Jan 1, 2014

More About Laughter

Here is more good news to smile about this year. A recent study found that groups that either watched or participated in comedy felt less pain than their peers, who watched a documentary. People who laughed more had an even higher pain threshold than those who only had a few giggles. Chuckling with others also increased laughter's positive impact. People are 30 times more likely to laugh in a group than alone.

Laughing triggers endorphins, neurotransmitters produced by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, which spark a feeling of comfort similar to what occurs when someone takes an opiate. Love, excitement, spicy foods, orgasms, exercise, and pain all cause the brain to produce endorphins, which also provide an analgesic effect.

Wordology, Duchenne Smile

While conducting research on the physiology of facial expressions in the mid-19th century, Guillaume-Benjamin-Amand Duchenne (de Boulogne) identified two distinct types of smiles. The eponymous Duchenne smile involves contraction of both the zygomatic major muscle, which raises the corners of the mouth and the orbicularis oculi muscle, which raises the cheeks and forms crow's feet around the eyes.

A non-Duchenne, or politician smile involves only the zygomatic major muscle. Research with adults initially indicated that joy was indexed by generic smiling, involving just the raising of the lip corners by the zygomatic major. More recent research suggests that smiling in which the muscle around the eye contracts, raising the cheeks high (Duchenne smiling), is uniquely associated with positive emotion.

There are also two types of laughter, Duchenne and non-Duchenne. Duchenne laughter is the type of natural chuckle that people experience when they see or hear something funny, which is often contagious. This giggling involves the contractions of the orbicularis oculi muscle and adds more pain relief than non-Duchenne laughter, which is emotionless and context-driven. Duchenne laughter might be so effective because it involves muscle activity much like exercise, which releases endorphins. The capacity to sustain laughter for periods of several minutes at a time may exaggerate the opioid effects.

Nov 12, 2009

Sex Cures Headaches

Endorphins released into our bloodstream when we have sex not only give us pleasure, but also act as painkillers. Useful information for the next time your partner uses a headache as a reason to say no.