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Why Laughter is Good

Updated on April 20, 2013

Laughter is Contagious

Laughing is good for us
Laughing is good for us | Source

Laughing is a Natural Emotion

“Laughter is known to be the best medicine” is a well known and probably one of the most true statements. Laughter is one of the healthiest things we can do for ouselves. It feels good to laugh. This universal behavior does so much for us many levels. When we laugh, we feel good inside. Laughing increases our endorphins, which is a chemical that produces a feel good effect. Laughing also creates a group bonding that has probably been integral in the evolution of our being. We are highly social creatures.

The study of laughter, is actually quite interesting. Socially laughing is contagious and makes people in a group feel closer. This has been seen in all primates.

Laughter, dancing, singing are group bonding activities. All of these activities produce endorphins.

It appears all primates laugh, and has been seen in apes, even though they laugh differently than humans do. Apes pant and is known as part of the ritualization of playing using sound. Evolutionary scientists believe that the panting apes do - pant, pant- turned into the human ha,ha.

Laughter and fun is good for you. We all know this.

Laughing Changes Your Perspective

Laughing is contagious.
Laughing is contagious. | Source

Endorphins and Laughing

Having fun, being around positive attitudes, humor, and laughing are good for us. It is a bonding experience and it increases our happiness.

Physiologically, laughter triggers many physical changes that are good for us too. When we laugh a good laugh, it boosts our immune system, increases our energy level, takes away pain, and protects us from the negative effects that stress brings.

Having a sense of humor is a powerful tool. Laughing helps change our mood, and bolster our emotional well being.

Humor works faster at avoiding conflict, reducing stress, alleviating pain, and balancing our mind, body, and soul, than any other cure.

A good laugh can help you escape your burdens, and helps you relate better to other people by connecting to them better than any other way can.

The power of humor, the power of laughter can heal and rejuvenate, relax and renew you and it can change your perspective about things.

Laughing engages our whole body. It helps release physical tension, and helps us forget about (at least temporarily) the things that are on our mind.

Laughing can help our muscles relax for close to 45 minutes. Our immune system is boosted and our stress hormones are decreased. Laughing releases endorphins, which help us feel good and is important in our social bonding.

Endorphins are pain relieving hormones that are generated when we exercise, get joyfully excited, have pain, eat spicy foods, fall in love, and have orgasms from sex. Endorphins help us ignore pain.

Laughter Helps Us Feel Good

Studies have shown that laughing is 30 times more likely to happen in a social setting than when people are by themselves.

Dr. Robin Dunbar is an evolutionary psychologist at Oxford who conducted studies about laughter and resistance to pain. They froze wine sleeves and put them on the forearm of people or used a tightened blood pressure cuff until the participants said they felt pain. People then watched comedy videos, videos that were neutral, and videos that made people feel good, but didn’t cause them to laugh. The findings showed that laughing triggered endorphin flow, and increased their resistance to pain from those who watched the comedy videos. Those who watched the the feel good videos did not have this same result.

Across all the results, everyone who laughed was able to tolerate pain better. Watching comedy for about 15 minutes, those in the survey, showed that the group increased their pain threshold by ten percent. The people in the study who laughed not in a group setting, showed a little less increase in pain tolerance.

Those who watched the feel good videos or neutral videos did not have increase in pain threshold. The scientists believe this may be, because exhaling that comes from heartily laughing causes the abnominal muscles to become physically exhausted, and then triggers the endorphin release. The chemicals flow for the same reason the endorphins get released from exercise, massage, touch and other physical activity.

The presence of endorphin levels in the brain are difficult to test. Endorphin molecules don’t show in blood samples because they are one of the brain chemicals that do not enter the blood stream, from what is known as the blood brain barrier.

As endorphins are released, they promote an overall feeling of well being.

Something to Laugh At

The Benefits of Laughing

In addition to feeling good, laughter is also known to protect the heart. Physiologically, laughter improves the function of the blood vessels throughout the body, which increases blood flow and helps improve the cardiovascular system and protects against heart attack .

There are many benefits to laughter:

  • boosts the immune system

  • lowers stress

  • decreases pain

  • has a relaxation effect on the muscles

  • helps to feel more joyful

  • eases anxiety and fears

  • strenghtens relationships

  • improves a persons mood

  • improves resilence

  • helps us appear more attractive to others

  • helps to diffuse conflict

  • promotes group bonding

  • helps people to work better together

Laughter helps us to stay emotionally and physically healthy. When our thoughts are less than happy, or distressing us, laughter can change these disturbing thoughts to ones that change our mood for the better.

The good feeling we get from laughing remains even after we have stopped laughing. Laughing is a powerful activity that helps keep a more positive and optimistic attitude, even when we are dealing with difficult situations, loss, and disappointments that arise. In addition to giving us a break from the discomfort from pain and sadness, laughing somehow gives us courage and strength that help us find new meanings and give us hope for things to get better. When we are going through the most difficult of times, laughter has the power to make things feel different for us, even if it is just temporarily.

Laughter is also contagious. When we are in the presence of someone laughing, we may very likely laugh too. Just the sound of laughter triggers our brain and makes it easier for us to smile and be ready to have more fun.

Laughter can melt the emotions that are distressing us. While we are laughing, it is impossible to feel anxious, sad or angry. Laughter promotes a relaxing feeling, and can reenergize us. It reduces our stress levels, and helps us stay focused that can often help us accomplish more.

Laughing Babies

Babies Know How to Laugh

Laughing is a natural and powerful emotion
Laughing is a natural and powerful emotion | Source

Laughter Changes Our Mood for the Better

Humor has the ability to shift our perspective, and allows us to see situations in a different light, that may help situations seem more realistically and less threatening.

Humor helps us gain a perspective and helps us create psychological distance that can help us avoid feeling overwhelmed.

There are many social benefits to humor, in addition to bonding. Humor is a form of communication and play and builds emotional connections. Laughing together creates positive bonding in many ways. Studies have foung that it is easier for fun loving men to get a girl that the more serous man. It is believed that playfulness may even be part of our evolutionary aspect of attractivenss to gain a mate. f

Laughing with others in a group is more powerful than laughing by ourselves. Laughing together is a very effective tool to keep relationships fresh and exciting, and to build lasting emotional connections. Humor can help heal resentments, disagreements, and emotional wounds. During difficult times, laughing can unite people. no matter what role they play in our lives.The more fun we have, the better we feel about ourselves, other people, and our world

Laughter can help us be more spontaneous and gets our mind off of what is troubling us. When laughing, we tend to be less defensive, less critical and judgmental, have less doubts, be less self conscious, and less inhibited. Very often, our deeply felt emotions come out more easily.

Even pets make us laugh. Laughter is a natural part of being human. Newborns smile after only a few weeks, and can laugh out loud at a few months of age.

So if there is anything to learn from reading this, one of the most important things is don’t take yourself or things too seriously. There are times to let all emotions be acknowledged. But there are times that we need to hear a good joke, watch something funny, and let ourselves laugh heartily. Look for the humorous side, surround yourself with people who are fun and funny, laugh at yourself, and see the absurdity in situations, so that you laugh freely. Be around children, and pets.

Laughter is good for your mood, it is good for your heart, and it is good for your soul. You will also help those around you feel the same. Lighten up and let laughter into your world, and magically things will seem a little better, a little brighter, and little happier. Look for the laughter, it will help you in more ways than you know. You can let life get the best of you, by taking things too seriously, or you get can the best from life by laughing.

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    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 2 years ago

      Hi Team Wiseman,

      Thank you for sharing on FB and tweeting my hub. I am so glad you enjoyed this article and my other hubs. I certainly will visit you too!

    • Team Wiseman profile image

      Team Wiseman 2 years ago

      Useful, funny and interesting!! We also thumbed up and Shared on FB and Tweeted this wonderful article about the Truth of Laughter and how it can turn our health around drastically if we only ALLOW ourselves to simply...laugh. This is a great article and you have many other great hubs, full of information. You know so much about horses! Hats off!!

      We would be honored if you also would check us out here on Hubpages and Share our Passions. Thanks

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 3 years ago

      Glad this hub worked!

    • incomeguru profile image

      Oyewole Folarin 3 years ago from Lagos

      Yes, laughing help keep the doctor away. Thanks for making my wife laugh out loud today.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 4 years ago

      Hi Kathi, Thanks for stopping by. I am glad you enjoyed the videos. As always, it is great to hear from you.

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Yup, keep a light heart and laugh as often as you can! Thanks for making us laugh with those delightful videos! Kathi :O)