These people are present in everyone’s lives. the people who laugh heartily. When you weren’t even expecting the joke to end, who comes in with the punchline. Although they are entertaining to be around, it turns out that their one-liners have some serious health advantages. And you too can participate in that activity. There is a wealth of research that demonstrates how Americans today are essentially living in a “fight or flight” response. “That’s not what we’re made to do, according to evolution. Our innate stress response, known as “fight or flight,” enables us to flee from a saber-toothed tiger. It’s meant to be transient. But that reaction is constantly being brought on by the stress that many of us experience every day. Your sympathetic nervous system is responsible for that “fight-or-flight” mentality. Its role is to pounce on you in a risky circumstance and psych you up to keep you safe. Your pupils enlarge, your heart begins to pound, and your breathing becomes shallow. According to researchers, long-term activation of your stress system has negative effects on your health, including an elevated risk for obesity, heart disease, cancer, and a host of other diseases. Your parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for your “chill mood,” is on the other side of the equation. It is also known as the “feed and breed” or “rest and digest” response. Your body slows down when you are operating on parasympathetic nervous system energy. You breathe more easily and your heart rate decreases. When your body recognizes that you are not in danger and that it is safe for you to let down your guard, your parasympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive. Deep breathing, light exercise, and laughter, among other practices, can help you relax and give your fight-or-flight response a much-needed rest.