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Prescription for Your Mental Health: A Bundle of Laughter

When you laugh, it feels like everything seems so right. You forget your worries, problems, and dilemmas. Instantly your mood enlightens, and even in deep trouble, if you hear a funny joke, you can’t help but smile.

Laughing is a healthy body function for a human being. It is an overt expression of being happy or being amused. We have different ways of expressing emotions, and this depends on what mood and emotions the person feels at the time.

Why Laugh When Feeling Down?

When you are feeling down, and the world seems unfair to you when problems seem to be stronger your will power, all you want to do is curl up in your bed and cry. This is a healthy coping mechanism for each experience, to regress and move into a stage wherein you feel comfortable.

However, laughing, in an instance, serves the same purpose as well. This may be harder than what it sounds like but laugh at your problems. You are one heck of a healthy person that should be able to face your trials proudly. After all, you are but a mere human and being as is. You are entitled to feel pain and disappointments sometimes. No one is spared from that; keep that in mind.

Laugh Therapy for Mental Health

When you start to laugh, it is not only your mind that would feel elated but the aura surrounding you as well. The crackling sound of your laugh creates a vibrating aura that signifies happiness. Everyone around you may feel the same, and their moods will be lifted as well. You will be laughing like fools in summer days. This is like a disease that could transfer from one to another, very contagious. However, in this case, there are no casualties or aggravated parties.

Have you ever heard of laugh therapy? Not yet? Here, let us know something about it. A professor of psychology at Harvard University studied that when people with depression problems stay lonely for a long time, they could endanger themselves by committing suicide. Most psychological textbooks suggest a company for a person with depression to avoid such a scenario.

Laugh therapy is a form of therapy where people with low self-esteem, depression, and social isolation problems are grouped and share something funny about them. This therapy uses a personal way of group interaction. When a person shares something about him, he is opening the possibility that someone may enter his zone, and he must be open to it. This is like a group sharing but with funny moments in life.

At the end of the 30-minute session, most, if not all, laugh and feel elated. After some time, that professor noted that most of those who participated became much open to conversations and cooperative.

Does Laughter Have a Negative Effect?

It is highly unbelievable, but yes, excessive laughing has adverse effects as well. Surprising huh? Well, laughing hysterically can lead to cataplexy. It is a condition where the sufferer has unpleasant laughter spells and excessive happiness. However, this usually occurs to those with existing neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

group laughing laughter laughExcessive elation and grandiosity are also common symptoms associated with psychosis and mania. They are mood disorders and personality problems. On the contrary, those who suffer from schizophrenia experience no laughter at all. They do not understand it nor get any joy from it.

Fits of laughter are normal when the person cannot control his laughter. But if it continues to happen, it might be due to abnormal brain function because of lagging processes inside the brain and, if not treated early, could progress to seizures and epilepsy.

Studies about the brain suggest that laughter is linked to activation of the neurotransmitter endorphin. This acts as the body’s pain killer and anesthesia. Laughter also involves certain parts of the limbic system, which manages our emotions and survival instincts.

So when you’re in pain, watch something funny. When you’re feeling down, laugh with a friend. You’ll be surprised to see your body responding and feeling so much better after laughing your heart out.

Bonus Trivia

Did you know that there is a laugh structure or “how you laugh?” The normal laugh one would either be “ha-ha-ha” or “ho-ho-ho.” It’s quite bizarre and impossible to laugh “ha-ho-ha-ho.” The common variations of laughs occur in the first or last note in sequence and never alternately.

Indeed, laughter is the best medicine.

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