Since laughter’s good for the soul, it’s no surprise that it’s good for the body, too. And now researchers at the University of Maryland have given us a physiological reason to believe it. Experimenting by measuring blood pressure after people watched either sad or funny movies, they found that laughter, like exercise, expanded the funny-movie-watchers’ blood vessels, whereas the stressful movie watchers actually had reduced blood flow. <a href="http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/living/health/11165589.htm"
target=blank>”It was a pretty dramatic difference,” Miller said.
The researchers also speculate that laughter triggers the release of endorphin which fights the negative effects of stress hormones—and could thus be a valuable preventive treatment. They say this isn’t yet positive evidence but, like claims that laughter boosts the immune system, the proof is getting closer.