Stress is nothing to laugh about, except that you should. A new study by researchers at Loma Linda University in California shows that laughter can reduce stress by decreasing the hormone cortisol. Excessive cortisol levels can damage your ability to learn and memorize.
The researchers showed a 20-minute funny video to a group of healthy, elderly participants and a group of elderly individuals with diabetes. Both groups were asked to complete a memory assessment, measuring learning, recall, and sight recognition. Cortisol levels for both groups were measured before and at the end of the experiment. A control group of elderly participants also completed the assessment, but did not watch the video.
Cortisol levels decreased in both groups who watched the video, and there was a greater improvement in all areas of memory assessment compared to the control group that didn’t watch the video.
“Due to decreased cortisol levels, elderly and diabetic elderly individuals that watch a humor video that induces mirthful laughter vs. not watching a humor video have greater enhancement in: 1) capability to learn, 2) have greater recall, and 3) improve visual recognition in short term memory function,” the researchers wrote in the study’s abstract.
In other words, less stress equals better memory.
“Humor reduces detrimental stress hormones like cortisol that decrease memory hippocampal neurons, lowers your blood pressure, and increases blood flow and your mood state,” said Dr. Lee Burk, the study’s co-author and a psychoneuroimmunology humor researcher. “The act of laughter—or simply enjoying some humor—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. So, indeed, laughter is turning out to be not only a good medicine, but also a memory enhancer adding to our quality of life.”
The next time you find yourself laughing, remember that it’s good for your health.
IAVM is offering a free one-hour webinar about the Mentor Connector Program on Tuesday, April 29, from 2-3 p.m. (CDT).
You are invited and encouraged to participate, especially if you are participating in the program this year or if you are just curious about how the program works. Remember, your participation in the Mentor Connector Program earns you CFE points. Plus, it is a great opportunity for growth for the protégés and for the mentors, sharing your wealth of experience in and knowledge of the venue management industry. Be sure to schedule time to participate in this very informative opportunity.
Richard Wiseman, writer and host of the In59Seconds series on YouTube, has a new project called Night School, which focuses on the science of sleep. As the website says, ” It’s time to reclaim the night, and to wake up to the power of sleep and dreaming.”
With that in mind, I encourage you to take the sleep test in the video above to determine how well you’re sleeping. Wiseman says at the end of the video there are some top tips for a better night’s sleep. Those are included below.
10 Tips for Improved Sleeping by Richard Wiseman
There was a lot of news this past week. Here are some stories that caught our eyes.
Orlando Beats Out NYC as the Most Visited Destination in the U.S.
“Orlando drew 4.7 million more visitors than New York City in 2013, challenging the status of what many think of as the most visited city in America.”
Cisco’s New Business Model: Luring Millennials to Stadiums
—The Motley Fool
“According to a recent Cisco report, one out of three college students and young professionals consider Internet access as important as food and shelter.”
Rock In Rio May Be Headed To Vegas For 2015
“MGM Resorts International said Monday that the “City of Rock” development to be built between the Circus Circus resort and Sahara Avenue could attract up to 80,000 people a day.”
Five Things Every Leader Should Do
“There are many things a leader needs to balance, but here are a few key things that they should always keep front of mind.”
In a World Where Wearables Rule…
“With wearables and the data they provide, you can be the Steve Jobs of your event.”
The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas announced today that it plans to expand its convention center, adding more than 350,000 square feet of exhibit space to its existing 1.7 million square feet.
“One of the real strengths of the recovery is in meetings,” Mandalay Bay President and COO Chuck Bowling told The Associated Press. “We have pent up demand for growing our shows.”
Construction will begin this fall, and the new space will be available in August 2015 with a total completion by January 2016. The expansion is expected to cost approximately $66 million.
The new space will also meet LEED Gold standards and include an additional rooftop solar photovoltaic array, making it the world’s largest convention center array.