Laughing indian businesswoman in friends company eating pizza enjoy lunch together with colleagues
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Inspirational

Article Abstracts
Feb 28, 2022

Inspirational

Laughter Is Great Medicine

Article Abstracts
Feb 05, 2023

Laughter has the power to enhance physical and mental well-being, and many studies have demonstrated its beneficial effects.

Physically, laughing uses a combination of facial muscles as well as movement of the eyes, head, and shoulders. Laughter also activates the brain and neural pathways of emotions like joy and mirth. This activity can improve mood and reduce stress (whether the laughter was strong, medium, or weak). Reduced stress is good for the cardiovascular, metabolic, and immune systems, and decreases vulnerability to disease.

Getting the joke or understanding the humor in a situation requires exercising not only the physical part of the brain but its cognitive power, too. When coupled with social skills, cognitive skills provide the context for when and why laughter occurs during a conversation.

According to Dr. Janet Gibson, a professor of cognitive psychology, “Laughter creates bonds and increases intimacy with others.” A baby laughs to show pleasure and it strengthens the baby’s bond with its parents and other caregivers. As we mature, laughter continues to create intimacy, whether it’s between the funny kid in school and classmates, or between a comedian and the audience.

Those without natural social skills can enhance those skills by practicing a little laughter every day. Laughing is a way to share feelings and learn that the response to humor will be accepted and enjoyed by others. Everyone laughs more with others than when alone.

In addition to positive emotions, researchers have found that the feelings produced by laughter–amusement, happiness, mirth, joy–build resiliency, increase creative thinking, and improve outlook and meaning in life. Several studies noted increases in well-being measures after laughter interventions such as watching comedy or writing down funny things that happened during the day. It is also a healthy mechanism to cope with and solve problems.

There is even laughing yoga that achieves the positive physical responses of natural laughing with forced laughter (ha ha hee hee ho ho).

Most of the research on laughter has been based on self-report measures. More psychological experimentation is needed to support the importance of laughter for physical and mental health.The Conversation

In the meantime, don’t take yourself so seriously and look for opportunities for a good laugh.

REFERENCES

Gibson, J. (n.d.). The science of laughter and its physical, cognitive, and emotional power. Blue Zones. https://www.bluezones.com/2020/12/scientific-proof-that-laughter-really-can-be-the-best-medicine/

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