Music and Laughter May Help Blood Pressure

Here’s some news to make you smile: Listening to music and laughing isn’t just fun. Turns out it might even lower your blood pressure.

About 80 lucky adults in Japan got to be part of a recent study that required some of them to listen to one-hour music sessions or attend laughter sessions. The laughter sessions included breathing exercises and listening to comedy.

Those that listened to music or laughed for an hour had lower blood pressure readings than the ones who did neither. And three months later, blood pressure levels were still improved, according to the results recently presented at the American Heart Association’s national conference. The study was conducted by the researchers at Osaka University’s Graduate School of Medicine in Japan.

High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. It can damage the heart, blood vessels and kidneys. Some people learn they have high blood pressure after they have a heart attack, stroke or kidney failure. A number of behaviors can increase your risk for high blood pressure including:

  • Eating too much salt or sodium in your diet
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Not getting enough potassium
  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Smoking

Obviously, going to comedy shows or seeking out friends who make you laugh isn’t a wise substitute for seeing your doctor and seeking medical advice.

But it doesn’t hurt to enjoy music and laugh with friends. In fact, it’s one of the perks to living a happy life.

Sources: National Institutes of Health; American Heart Association

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