The Incredible Power of Laugher. What Happens To Us When We Laugh?

The human race has only one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. The moment you laugh, all your irritations and resentments slip away and the sunny spirit takes their place, Mark Twain said.

When they laugh, people get closer to each other, they become happier, while their immune system is strengthened, their energy and concentration increase and the body feels relaxed. This priceless "drug" is fun, free, and easy to use.

Moreover, laughter is a powerful antidote to stress and pain, reducing or eliminating conflict. Nothing works faster or safer than laughter when we need to bring our mind and body back to a state of balance. Humor eases difficult situations, brings hope, connects people, keeping one focused and in an alert mood, according to helpguide.org.

Laughter is Good for Your Health

Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good laugh from the heart reduces physical tension and stress, leaving the muscles relaxed for about 45 minutes.

It strengthens the immune system and, on the other hand, lowers stress hormones. Increasing the number of immune system cells by generating antibodies that fight infections will increase disease resistance.
The Incredible Power of Laugher. What Happens To Us When We Laugh?
Picture Credit: Pixabay
Laughter brings happiness
. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural chemicals which promote a general sense of well-being and can temporarily relieve pain.

Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the functioning of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which reduces the risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

You Also Have Something To Gain Mentally

Laughter makes you feel good, and that feeling of well-being that comes when you laugh from the heart lingers with you even after you stop laughing. Humor helps you maintain a positive and optimistic state of mind when you go through difficult situations, disappointments, or losses.

On top of this, laughter gives you the strength to find new sources of inspiration and hope to overcome sadness and pain. Even in the most difficult times, a laugh from the heart can change your mood instantly. And laughter is really contagious - just hearing the sound of laughter makes your brain smile and want to enjoy the fun.

In fact, laughter is able to dissolve all painful emotions. You can't feel anxious, nervous, or sad when you laugh. Laughter helps you relax and rejuvenate. While it reduces stress, it increases your energy and allows you to stay focused so you can better accomplish the things you have to do.

Humor changes the perspective from which you see life, allowing you to analyze situations in a much more realistic and less threatening light. A humorous perspective can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.

The Social Dimension of Laughter

Humor and "playful" communication strengthen relationships between people by triggering positive feelings and promoting emotional connection. When we laugh with others, a positive connection is created, and this connection acts as a strong buffer against future disagreements and disappointments.

Dr. Robert Provine, who has been studying the social and neurological roots of laughter for over 20 years, says that in addition to voice or other minor differences, people are programmed to laugh in a certain way, with a universal pattern. The structure we usually follow is that of a model of pulses with short exhalations.

Provine has spent a decade studying laughter. It's the best way to understand human behavior, he tells WebMD. "Laughter is part of the universal human vocabulary. All members of the human species understand it. Unlike English or French or Swahili, we don’t have to learn to speak it. We’re born with the capacity to laugh."

Dr. Provine also believes that laughter is a message that we send to other people. We rarely laugh when we are alone (we laugh to ourselves even less than we talk to ourselves).

Laughter is Social and Contagious
Laughing with others has a much greater effect than laughing by yourself. Incorporating humor into everyday interactions can improve people's quality of life and relationships.

Another interesting thing contrary to folk wisdom, most laughter is not about jokes; it is about relationships between people.
To find out when and why people laugh, Provine and several undergraduate research assistants went to local malls and city sidewalks and recorded what happened just before people laughed.
Over a 10-year period, they studied over 2,000 cases of naturally occurring laughter and they found that most laughter does not follow jokes. People laugh after a variety of statements such as "Hey John, where ya been?", "Here comes Mary," "How did you do on the test?" and "Do you have a rubber band?". These certainly aren’t jokes.

"I found that social laughter is 30 times more common than lonely laughter. The relationship between individuals causes laughter, not jokes," Robert Provine added.

"Usually, we associate laughter with positive things, but we forget that laughter also has a negative side. It is great to laugh with friends, family, colleagues, but it can be painful and even dangerous if you laugh at someone or they laugh at you. People who laugh at others may be trying to force them to conform or casting them out of the group,", the researcher pointed out.

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