- Education and Science
The importance of laughing and crying
Don't be ashamed to laugh or cry
We are lucky to be humans. We clearly show the different kinds of emotion that emanates from our body inside and out. We laugh and cry to every happy and sad events that we encounter in our daily adventure in this world. Our imperfection has many scientific explanations that help us survive everyday.
What makes us laugh?
Laughter is the best medicine, so they say, even the doctor told me so. It only requires minimal facial muscles to laugh than to frown. There’s something in our brain that tell us to laugh if we are happy. Laughter begins with a simple smile then to the highest level of happiness.
Serotonin, the happiness hormone, is responsible for our laughter. Hence, the frontal lobe of our brain controls our emotions. At the right hemisphere of it is the part that helps us smile and laugh (serotonin, that is).
There are three kinds of laughter: a) nervous laughter - when we are afraid of something (like snake) but we still made it to laugh; b) pigeon laughter - without opening our mouth (just like doves) and c) belly laughter - the sincerest laughter coming from our stomach.
Facts and Trivia about Smile and Laughter
Philippines ranked 15th to the top 20 nations around the world of having a happy citizen amid the rampant corruption plaguing the country. Filipinos are known for their sincerest form of hospitality.
Funny bone is also known as ulnar nerve under our armpit. When we tickle someone’s armpit, it can easily make them laugh because of it.
The longest laugh ever recorded by Ripley’s World Record comes from Thailand. It lasted about 12 minutes.
Helium is also known as the laughing gas. It is being used as anesthesia during dental surgery. If you inhale it, your voice will be cartoon-like (like Mickey Mouse). It is also used in filling air balloons. I tried it many times that my nieces and nephews can’t stop laughing hearing my animated voice.
The laughter of hyena is just a mimicry of human laughter. It’s their natural sound.
“Belly laughter saved my life,“says Norman Cousinns of USA, a patient having a sleeping problem due to his accident. Doctors required him to laugh for 10 minutes to have at least two hours of pain-free sleep.
Juan Mann of London shares his laughter by giving free hugs to every person he meets on the streets of the city. Free Hugs program by Mr. Mann reached the Philippines in July 2007.
What makes us cry?
Separation and sad movies and tv dramas make us cry. These things serve as stimuli in making us cry. Feeling sad makes our serotonin level to dive down. But tears in our eyes have positive effects, too. It flushes body toxins through tears and chemical build-up like manganese and prolactin.
There are three kinds of human tears: a) emotional tears - when we feel sad due to loss of someone we love and failures on other things; b) basal tears - due to natural irritants and c) reflex tears - when foreign bodies irritate our eyes.
We also cry because of fears. We are able to survive in this world because of this. With fear, we will do the right thing to avoid being punished and be a liability of our society. We fear the punishment from the Higher Being or the Almighty God when we commit sin. We cry for forgiveness due to the frailty of our human existence.
Facts and Trivia about Fear, Sadness and Crying
The famous fiction writer and former teacher, J.K. Rawlings of Harry Potter fame wrote the series when she was in the midst of crisis and depression.
Crocodile tears are true. It is continuous when crocodiles are staying in the land for quite a long time. It lubricates their eyes with the help of lacrimal glands.
Elephant tears are also true. This is to get rid of irritants or foreign bodies from their eyes.
When we’re out of our comfort zones, we usually show some fears of something we are not acquainted with. Some kinds of fear are: a) ophidophobia - fear of snakes, b) claustrophobia - fear of being trapped, c) odontophobia - fear of dentists, d) arachnophobia - fear of spiders, e) acluophobia - fear of darkness and f) hydrophobia - fear of water.
If the health benefits are at stake, we shouldn’t suppress ourselves from laughing or crying. We shouldn’t be ashamed of showing our emotions, like fear, happiness and sadness. It helps us to be stronger and face the challenges unfazed.
New Scientist: Laughing & Crying 15-7-10 Radio Wammo Show, Kiwi FM c/o RadioWammo
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