A new study found that laughter can improve short-term memory and recall among older adults. Older adults may have age associated memory deficiencies. However,” the researchers say, positive, enjoyable, and beneficial humor therapies [can] improve these deficiencies.”
Researchers at Loma Linda had a test group of healthy adults watch 20 minutes of uninterrupted humorous video. A control group was told to relax, without reading or talking. Following the sessions, memory tests and saliva samples were recorded to monitor memory and salivary cortisol, the stress hormone. Researchers found people who watched the funny videos exhibited much better memories and were able to recall more of the recent past, while the stress hormone was lowered. Twenty minutes a day of quality laughter, according to researchers, is a great way to boost memory, lower stress, and improve your overall quality of life.
Think about laughing in the shower, while driving, or taking a laughter yoga class. “Fake it until you make it,” because the body chemistry doesn’t know the difference. And while you’re at it, every time you practice a twisting posture on your mat or in your chair, lift the corners of your mouth.
Bains, G.S., et al., “The Effect of Humor on Short-Term Memory in Older Adults: A New Component for Whole-Person Wellness,” Advances in Mind Body Medicine, 2014 Spring;28(2):16-24.
For a wonderful yoga practice to help make you smile try our Smile Breath Practice.
Join us at an upcoming LifeForce Yoga workshop or training – we smile and laugh a lot!