“Laughter is the best medicine” is not just a phrase. It is a scientific fact. Laughing has an impact on both our mind and body--it reduces stress, improves mood, and provides a sense of happiness, even for just a brief moment. We are all familiar with the feeling of laughter, but have you ever wondered how and why it affects us the way it does?
In this blog post, we will be taking a closer look at the science and psychology behind laughter.
What Happens to Our Body When We Laugh?
When we are laughing, our body goes through an array of changes. Both physically and mentally. Physically, our breathing rate and blood pressure increase. We also experience increased heart rate and the release of endorphins. Essentially, these are chemicals that enable euphoric sensations.
Mentally, laughing puts our bodies in a state of ease and relaxation, thus leaving us feeling happy, more connected to others, and even more creative.
The Benefits of Laughter
Laughter is contagious. And it has been proven to be an efficient social bonding tool. It encourages positive interaction with others and helps alleviate feelings of anxiety. Similarly, laughter also helps our physical health by reducing blood pressure, thereby increasing oxygen levels, and improving cardiovascular health.
The impact of laughter is not just restricted to our well-being. It has been proven to increase productivity and improve creative thinking. And even the ability to cope with difficult situations.
The Evolution of Laughter
Laughter is believed to have evolved as a way for humans to connect with each other. Laughter was initially developed to aid social communication. And to help bond individuals in a group.
Today, it has grown to be a crucial aspect of individual well-being and affects the quality of life. The evolution of laughter means that it is instinctual. And we do not learn to laugh from others. Infants naturally laugh from as early as four months after being born.
The Types of Laughter
Not all laughter is the same. Researchers have noted different types of laughter. These include the social laughter that is most common. Likewise, fake laughter and laughter at the expense of others. Fake laughter is known to be beneficial as it also releases endorphins, even if there is no sense of happiness behind it.
Laughter at the expense of others is less beneficial as it can lead to feelings of shame and embarrassment. Social laughter, which consists of laughing with others during social connections, is the most prevalent. This helps in the formation and maintenance of positive relationships.
Laughter plays a vital role in improving our well-being both mentally and physically. It is a natural, instinctual response that has evolved over time. The power of laughter is remarkable - and laughing regularly can be beneficial for our physical health, social connections, and mental well-being.
So, go ahead, watch that funny movie, spend time with loved ones, and do not forget to laugh- it is the best medicine out there.