Go Ahead and Laugh!

When my patients are in that dreaded two-week waiting period between ovulation or transfer and pregnancy test, they often ask, “So what else can I do?” My favourite thing to tell them is to watch funny movies. For real.

It may seem obvious that laughter is a cure for stress, but there is substantive evidence for this humor-health connection as well. In 2008, the Oak Crest Health Research Institute in California conducted a study where they examined the connection between stress hormones and watching a funny video.

16 healthy fasting male volunteers were separated into two groups. The experimental group watched a humorous video and the control group did not. They collected blood samples from each participant before the event, four times during the event and three times afterward. They found that even when anticipating the video, there was a 39% decrease in cortisol, 70% decrease in epinephrine, and 38% decrease in dopac in comparison to the control group. Analysis showed a progressive pattern of decrease in these three stress hormones as they continued to watch the video as well as after they watched it.

So there it is, laughter is medicine and the perfect antidote to your stress!  

To learn more about what you can do to help deal with your stress, attend my upcoming MindBody Talk with counsellor, Elana Sures.

Dr. Alda Ngo

Alda Ngo