This blog post is part of “Basic Gifts of Being,” a series dedicated to our daily needs as humans that we never think twice about. Sarah pinpoints simple tasks that can promote a positive and healthy lifestyle as well as improve one’s overall quality of life.
Who doesn’t feel better after they have a good laugh? I am that person who laughs at anything and everything. My positive outlook on life allows me to go through my day with ease and lightness. Laughter is the expression of one’s joyful heart or feeling when their desire(s) are satisfied. Laughter has a great influence on maintaining our physical health, mental health and immune system. It is also easily accessible and does not require any specialized preparations.
Three Categories in Theory of Laughter
- Arousal Theory: Our stress level is positively correlated with arousal. When we laugh tension and stress are relieved.
- Discrepancy Theory: People tend to laugh when there is a discrepancy between the situation they are in and their general knowledge. We laugh when faced with something different or discordant from our expectations.
- Superiority Theory: Having the feeling that you are superior to someone. Laughing restricts your external environment and increases your confidence.
Categories of Laughter
- Genuine or spontaneous: we have contractions around our eye sockets here
- Simulated: self-induced laughter for no specific reason
- Stimulated: Our reflex to certain external factors
- Induced: caused by specific drugs or substances (caffeine, alcohol etc.)
- Pathological: Not triggered by a specific stimulus. Caused by various temporary or permanent diseases that can also link to psychiatric disorders
- Relaxes muscles
- Improves respiration
- Stimulates circulation
- Decreases stress
- Improves immune defense system
- Elevates pain threshold and tolerance
- Enhances mental function
- Improves insomnia, memory failure and dementia
Clearly laughter has been researched quite a bit and has many positive benefits. This simple sensation can counteract depressive symptoms, enhance memory, improve relationships etc. In terms of short term effects, laughing will immediately boost your self-esteem. Overall, laughter improves our well-being.
This therapy is used to look past physical treatment. By tuning into the mind and body, the brain can be changed by psychological aspects. The act of laughing releases nervous energy and gives off a powerful and fresh energy. When we laugh we can endure in stressful situations. We can help people judge their problems objectively and improve our insights.
It is truly incredible to think about all that this audible sound does for our bodies. It can alter dopamine and serotonin levels making us less stressed. Learning to keep it light and find joy in the simple things in life, will make you laugh more and be happy and well.