What is laughter
The contagiousness of laughter – Studies have suggested that when you hear or see a person laugh, you are more likely to laugh as well. I have often times experienced laughter as being contagious, so it can provoke a positive feedback from one person to another.
Similar to laughter, yawning, is also a contagious activity. Have you ever been in midst of others, looked across the room, found someone yawning, and then immediately felt the yawn coming on you?
More often than not, laughter is considered to be an auditory expression of a number of positive emotional states, such as joy and happiness. On other occasions, however, it may be caused by completely different emotional states such as a person reacting to embarrassment form unexpected exposure, surprise, or confusion.
The emotional benefits of laughter is a pleasant physical reaction and emotion consisting often in audible contractions of the diaphragm, in a rhythmical movement with other parts of the respiratory system. It is a response to certain internal or external stimuli.
Laughter can rise from such activities as humorous stories, thoughts or being tickled by others.
Humour is the tendency from experiences to provoke the emotion and provide amusement.
The term gelotology is the study of humor and laughter, and how it psychological and physiological affect the human body.
Quote: “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” – Charles Dickens
Scientific facts about laughter
Brain connectivity kicks in when we laugh. All laughing is not equal, and it turns out that deciphering a laugh is more difficult than it appears on the surface.
In one study the researchers identified some perception differences in persons, for example, tickling laughter, versus joyous laughter, versus taunting laughter, each of these activates different connections in various regions of the brain.
What this all amounts to is that our body does not know the difference between a genuine laugh from a faked one. Our laughs foster rigorous brain-region connectivity that kicks in when we hear a laugh, as our brains work to decipher what sort of communication is coming through.
If you want to be a happier person, let your brain do its work in decoding the various laughs. But when you hear something funny, whether you feel like laughing or not, just laugh, and you will reap the emotional and health benefits of laughter that can be backed by science.
Quote: “A well-balanced person is one who finds both sides of an issue laughable”. — Herbert Procknow
Health benefits of laughter
Laughter improves the immune system by decreasing the stress hormones and increasing the immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, in the end improving your resistance to disease.
Emotional benefits of laughter is not the only area of positive development in the human life. Laughter can also burn calories! Find this surprising right? Well, again research has proven at Vanderbilt University that 15 minutes of laughing a day can burn up to 40 calories a day (Buchowski et al., 2007).
A study conducted in Norway found out that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer, that those patients who laughed more lived longer.
Why laughter is the best medicine?
It’s not just a cliché that laughter is the best medicine, it is practically very good for our physical and mental health. For example, when we laugh, our body releases endorphins, a group of hormones secreted in our brain and nervous system producing a number of physiological functions.
Endorphins will then release dopamine which is a neurotransmitter that can help improve our mood. Dopamine is nicknamed feel-good or happy hormones because they help us experience pleasure and is involved in the reward system of the brain.
Yes, we can never ignore the emotional benefits of laughter, but it can also function as a stress reliever. If you should done a herd day’s work and feel tired and stressed out, and coming home decided to turn on a funny TV show and began to laugh.
You will gradually feel relief from the tension; turns out, laughing is a natural way to de-stress the body, and improve feelings of depression and anxiety, and enhance our feeling of happiness as well.
If you happen to feel your shoulders feeling heavy or your lower back start to ache, it could be the result of stress leading to muscle tension.
But laughter can reduce or totally remove tension and help relax our muscles.
Lets compare the emotional benefits of laughter and heart health. Laughter can very often improve our cardiovascular health as it increases blood flow to the heart. We can lower the risk of heart disease and heart when our cardiovascular health improves which makes up look and feel better.
Laughter gives us better satisfaction in life. So, in addition to help the relief of pain, it can improve life satisfaction. In a recent study (Deshpande & Verma, 2013) about laughter therapy with seniors, the researchers suggested that laughing can lower feelings of loneliness and improve general well-being in life.
Quote: “Laughter is a bodily exercise that is precious to our health.” – Aristotle
Mental benefits of laughter
Let us examine the link between emotional benefits of laughter and mental health.
When we laugh more, it stops distressing emotions. The truth is, you cannot feel sad, anxious, or angry when you are laughing.
The more you engage yourself in laughing, you are helping yourself to relax and recharge and remove toxins from your mental faculty. It reduces stress and increases energy, yes, and enables you to stay focused and accomplish your goals set for a better life.
Let us summarize the benefits of mental health with more laughter:
It releases the hormone endorphins, a natural chemicals in the body that relieve stress and promote a sense of well-being.
If we make the effort to see the humour is any situation, laughter can defuse anger, conflict, and self-blame when we find ourselves in a difficult circumstance or in a disagreement with others.
Emotional benefits of laughter eases distressing common emotions such as grief and pain. It counteracts feelings of anxiety and sadness. Besides, it helps us release the afore mentioned intense emotions.
When we laugh and smile, stressful situations are reduced when cortisol level is decrease. Cortisol is called the stress hormone, so the lower levels are better for our mental health.
Laughing can elongate our life by bringing more joy and fun into our consciousness.
Quote: “As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul”. — A Jewish Proverb
Social benefits of laughter
Although humor cause laughter, research suggests that this activity is more closely linked to social interactions than hearing a joke. It is a fact that laughter is not always linked to something funny.
Did you know that humans are nearly 30 times more likely to laugh when with others than when we are by ourselves. Laughter enhances closer romantic relationships.
Studies show when partners laugh with each other, they are more likely to stay together. It is a fact, laughter can strengthen and increase satisfaction in your relationship, and lengthen your partnership with your romantic partner.
Laughter brings us closer to each other, which can have an overwhelmingly positive effect on all aspects of our mental and emotional health.
Quote: “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” – Victor Borge
The happiest people on earth!
Do you have any idea who should be the happiest people on planet earth? You will not get it because those who have reasons to be full of joy and happiness are not showing it. I am speaking of born again sons of Elohim.
He is our heavenly father, therefore we should have His traits. Look how the scripture describe our Father:
- Elohim has a smile on His face. — Psalm 42:5
- He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh – Psalm 2:4
- but the Lord laughs, seeing that their day is coming – Psalm 37:13
- A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones – Proverbs 17:22
- Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense – Proverbs 19:11
Quote: “If you’re not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don’t want to go there.” – Martin Luther