You Should Laugh All Day Long and this Is Why!
Have you noticed how your mood changes and you feel better after watching a really hilarious comedy? People generally feel better psychologically and even physically healthier after some serious laughing. Do you have some experience of the kind? Let’s see why is it so, according to science.
Laughter benefit #1 (physical side)
A good laugh has great short-term effects since it instantly induces changes in our smiling bodies. It stimulates our muscles, including the heart, and thus enhances the intake of oxygen into the lungs. Laughter also stimulates our brain to release stress relief hormones called endorphins, which decrease our body’s response to stress. Additionally, it improves our heart rate and blood pressure. Amazing, right?
Some studies even suggest that these might not be the only temporary effects. They have found that laughter can improve our overall immune system. Just like constant negative thoughts can induce chemical reactions that can decrease our immunity, positive thoughts can release neuropeptides that fight chronic stress and potential serious illnesses.
On the other hand, people experiencing pain have to laugh even more since the laughter eases discomfort by causing their bodies to produce their own natural painkillers. It is really encouraging to know that laughter increases one’s pain tolerance by about 10%.
Laughter benefit #2 (emotions)
It is a common belief that men have more power to elicit laughter while women laugh more often. This implies that the amount of laughter in marriage affects the overall health of the relationship.
Do you like to be tickled? Well, tickling is one of the best ways to elicit laughter. It is a form of interaction that makes both the tickler and the tickled laugh together. Still, we cannot tickle ourselves, right? Additionally, tickling is a matter of a close relationship, so it is a good form of emotional bonding.
The emotional benefits of laughing are such that it generally causes an elevated mood and also reduces anxiety and depression. By increasing energy and vigor, it can produce more hope and optimism, as well as increase our self-esteem and resilience.
We are well aware that laughter cannot make our problems go away but having a positive attitude can help us cope with our problems in a better perspective. This is particularly beneficial to people who have chronic illnesses. Through laughing, they feel less depressed and more hopeful since they, through the laughter, connect with other people and share the joy.
Additionally, laughter fights boredom, anger, and fear. It changes our bad moods and turns our negative thoughts into more pleasurable feelings.
Laughter benefit #3 (overall mental state)
It was proven that laughter promotes our mental or cognitive abilities. According to research from Johns Hopkins Medical School, students who enjoy humor do better on their test scores than other students. Some other researchers found that healthy seniors perform better in tests for memory recall after viewing funny videos than those who were not allowed to talk, read or watch anything.
Additionally, seniors who engage in social interaction with friends, enjoy group exercise, or watch TV sitcoms daily have an increase in learning abilities as well as a better overall quality of life.
Enhanced creativity, better problem-solving ability, and increased ability to find alternative solutions to cope with stress are just some of the cognitive benefits of laughter.
Laughter benefit #4 (social side)
Humor and laughter help us become more spontaneous and less defensive. While laughing, we tend to forget our doubts, judgments, and criticisms. We let go of our inhibitions and express how we really feel, making ourselves open to additional social interactions. Making people laugh and laughing with other people in daily situations can be very attractive, and it increases friendliness.
Generally, laughter is a social activity, and people are more likely to laugh when they are in a social setting than when alone. The moments we spend in laughter strengthen our relationships, promote bonding, help resolve conflict, enhance teamwork, and attract others.
Laughter unites people during some difficult times, it reinforces group identity and promotes happy marriages and closer relationships.
How to laugh more?
Since no baby wouldn’t laugh when tickled, it is believed that people are born with a natural sense of humor. We have all been in a situation to see how laughter can be contagious, too. Sadly, people tend to laugh less as they grow older. Also, relationships (friendships or even marriages) tend to fall apart when the laughter is gone.
All of this suggests that we have to cultivate laughter in our daily lives. Therefore, make laughter your daily routine. But how can we add more laughter in our lives? There are many ways of doing it, and here are just a few ones:
- Practice smiling in front of the mirror.
- Increase positive thoughts by counting all the good things that have ever happened to you.
- You should also look for things that you enjoy and make you laugh. Watch funny movies, keep comic books, read funny books…
- You should spend more time with friends who make you laugh.
- Tell jokes!
- You should play with children (your own or your relative’s, neighbors’…)
- Playing with a pet also helps.
- Take yourself less seriously since most events in your life do not bear an overwhelming sense of sadness. There is always a funny side to everything. So, you should laugh at situations rather than complain about them.
- Join some laughter therapy program
Happy laughing time!
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