Until now, scientists haven’t proven that like exercise and other activities, laughing causes a release of so-called endorphins. Even though most would agree to most important part of life is being HAPPY
“Very little research has been done into why we laugh and what role it plays in society,” study researcher Robin Dunbar, of the University of Oxford, said in a statement. “We think that it is the bonding effects of the endorphin rush that explain why laughter plays such an important role in our social lives.”
N addition to giving us a “buzz,” these endorphins raise our ability to ignore pain. So the researchers used the endorphins’ pain relief to determine if laughter causes an endorphin release. They first tested participants for their pain threshold, then exposed them to either a control or a laugh-inducing test, and then tested pain levels again.
The researchers believe that the long series of exhalations that accompany true laughter causephysical exhaustion of the abdominal muscles and, in turn, trigger endorphin release. (Endorphin release is usually caused by physical activity, like exercise, or touch, like massage.)
The study was published today (Sept. 13) in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
courtesy of LiveScience