The older we get, the more our memories start to fail us. This is just an unfortunate side effect of having a squishy, non-robotic body. However, there’s one great way you can help improve your brain’s memory: laugh.
Picture: jeff hall/Flickr
According to research from Loma Linda University, laughter resulted in a reduction of the stress chemical known as cortisol. The effect (among many others) was a decrease in the loss of hippocampal neurons. In other words, your memory works better when your brain isn’t flooded with stress. Not only does laughter reduce cortisol, it has a number of positive effects that aid memory:
The act of laughter — or simply enjoying some humour — increases the release of endorphins and dopamine in the brain, which provides a sense of pleasure and reward.
These positive and beneficial neurochemical changes, in turn, make the immune system function better.
There are even changes in brain wave activity towards what’s called the “gamma wave band frequency,” which also amp up memory and recall.
While it may not always seem like it, it’s possible to rewire your brain to be happier and more positive. In addition to the myriad of other benefits this provides, seeking out things that make you laugh can help keep your memory sharp. So maybe next time you’re picking a movie, go with the comedy.