A recent study suggests that laughter can provide the same benefits as meditation by chasing disturbing thoughts and feelings. Laughter has the ability to set off brain wave patterns quite similar to those generated when people are meditating.
This research was presented in San Diego by Dr. Lee Berk, a psychosomatic medicine specialist at Loma Linda University's School of Medicine. Berk told the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology's 2014 meeting that, for 31 university students whose scalps were rigged up with listening electrodes while they watched videos either distressing or comical, unfettered laughter was the thing that brought their brain waves most consistently into a mock-meditative state.
Meditation, with its well-established benefits, may not be for everyone, Berk said. But humor is certainly within reach for all of us, and in the interest of our health, he said, we should dose ourselves regularly. "I'm serious about laughter, as it is a medicine, he said. "We need to tune into it and reap the reward."
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