Besides the apparent health benefits; Laughter Yoga also provides some surprise benefits like improvement in short term memory, better group performance, forming new friendships and increased resistance to pain.
Improves Short-Term Memory - Research indicates that laughter can improve short-term memory specifically in older adults. Participants in their 60s and 70s were divided into two groups, half of whom watched a short, humorous video for 20 minutes while the other half sat calmly for the same length of time. Afterwards, everyone was given a short-term memory test. Those who had watched the video significantly outperformed those who hadn't. Interestingly, the study showed the group who watched the video had significantly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which suggests that laughter, by alleviating stress, had boosted their short-term memory.
Enhanced Group Performance - A team of researchers, who set out to study the effects of laughter in team interaction said that in many situations, jokes don't hamper performance, they enhance it. In other words, mindless kidding around can actually foster a more creative and innovative work environment.
New friendships - When we laugh, we let our guard down and are more likely to share personal disclosures with those around us, which is the backbone of forming intimate, personal bonds with others. Laughter's ability to trigger endorphin activity allows us to let our guard down, which in turn can lead to the formation of new relationships.
Increased pain resistance - In a study, researchers tested participants' pain threshold, and then either put them in a control group or in a group primed to laugh (via watching humorous clips from Friends and Mr. Bean, or attending a live comedy show). Afterwards, they were administered pain tolerance tests which revealed that pain tolerance increased after laughing, rising an average of 10 percent. "When laughter is elicited, pain thresholds are significantly increased, whereas when subjects watched something that does not naturally elicit laughter, pain thresholds do not change and are often lower.
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