The LOLCats Experiment: Let’s Test the Theory

Written by Angela Atkinson

I know you’ve been on the edge of your seat since I announced the LOLCats Experiment a couple of days ago, dying to know what’s happening, am I right?

(Just let me live in my little fantasy world where everyone hangs off my every keystroke for a minute…okay, I’m back. LOL.)

So here it is.

The Theory

The LOLCats Experiment is simple, and believe it or not, directly related to the pursuit of personal fulfillment.

Science has proven that laughter can improve our health and overall well being. In fact, according to researchers at Loma Linda University in California, laughter triggers the release of endorphins into the body.

Not only do endorphins make us FEEL amazing, but they also have positive effects on our immune system. So, laughter actually helps us to be stronger and healthier.

Here’s a summary of the research findings about the immune system, published in 1996:

  • In Berk’s study, the physiological response produced by belly laughter was opposite of what is seen in classical stress, supporting the conclusion that mirthful laughter is a eustress state — a state that produces healthy or positive emotions.
  • Research results indicate that, after exposure to humor, there is a general increase in activity within the immune system, including:
    An increase in the number and activity level of natural killer cells that attack viral infected cells and some types of cancer and tumor cells.
  • An increase in activated T cells (T lymphocytes). There are many T cells that await activation. Laughter appears to tell the immune system to “turn it up a notch.”
    An increase in the antibody IgA (immunoglobulin A), which fights upper respiratory tract insults and infections.
  • An increase in gamma interferon, which tells various components of the immune system to “turn on.”
  • An increase in IgB, the immunoglobulin produced in the greatest quantity in body, as well as an increase in Complement 3, which helps antibodies to pierce dysfunctional or infected cells. The increase in both substances was not only present while subjects watched a humor video; there also was a lingering effect that continued to show increased levels the next day.

Plus, say researchers, laughter significantly reduces stress hormones, relaxes muscles, has heart health benefits, and even lowers blood pressure. The endorphins released by “belly laughter” can also reduce physical pain and improve respiration.

On top of that, the laws of the universe tell us that like attracts like. Laughter causes us to feel happy, and since like attracts like, those of us who laugh regularly are more likely to feel happier and more satisfied with our lives overall.

The Experiment

The experiment is simple, and I hope you’ll join me. For the next seven days, take ten minutes per day to do something that really makes you laugh. For this experiment, I suggest browsing the LOLCats website for ten minutes. Alternatively, you could subscribe and have LOLCats delivered directly to your mail box.

If cats don’t do it for you, never fear. There’s something for everyone.

Try LOLCelebs, LOLDogs, Funny Look-Alikes, LOL News & Politics, Fun with Charts, or anything else that tickles your funnybone.

The idea here is to get at least ten minutes worth of laughter in per day. Do it intentionally for one week–seven days.

I think you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised. Next up: how the LOLCats Experiment worked for me.

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