Much has been written about the alleged health benefits of laughter, but a new report takes it up a notch by claiming that the mere anticipation of laughter dramatically reduces stress hormones—which tempts me to lie and say that this article is really funny:
Berk and his team report today at the 121st Annual Meeting of the American Physiological Society in San Diego, California, that levels of all three stress chemicals decreased before, during and after the men viewed [funny] videos. Thirty minutes after the videos were watched, cortisol was down 67%, adrenaline was down 35%, and DOPAC was down 69%. But what really shocked the team was that cortisol, adrenaline and DOPAC decreased by 39%, 70%, and 38% respectively before anything funny was seen. “It would seem that merely having a merry heart in anticipation of the happy experience lowered stress levels... they dropped before videos were even watched” says Berk.