Powerful Benefits of Laughing
Laughter is a way of life to cultivate health and happiness.
'With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.' —William Shakespeare
When was the last time you had a good belly laugh?
It's true! It is hard to laugh at this difficult time but we all need some humor in our lives as many studies show that a good dose of laughter has great benefits for your body and mind.
People have forgotten to laugh because of some global issues; climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, violence, poverty, inequality, and more. As a result, people frequently fall sick or develop mental health issues. Therefore, it is necessary to laugh more often and be happy to maintain your health.
Long before science began to search for positive physiological benefits of laughter, people have intuitively known about the power of this gift.
Practicing laughter is a big challenge but it has been scientifically proven that "Laughter is the best medicine" because it triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals.
Laughter is a sound that does not have any language and the study of humor and laughter is called Gelotology. It is also the psychological and physiological study of laughter. The origin word comes from the Greek gelos, geloto meaning a laugh, laughter, laughing. And a gelotologist is a person who specializes in gelotology.
Laughter is a serious scientific study
Human beings are not the only ones laughing, as researchers have found that there is much more laughter in the mammalian kingdom than in us humans.
There are some species, like most mammals, from chimpanzees to dogs, that can laugh as well. They demonstrate vocalizations that sound similar to human laughter.
6 Scientific Benefits of laughter:
1. Laughter improves your mood, reduces stress, and strengthens your immune systems.
2. Laughing burns calories – laughter is sometimes referred to as "inner jogging". It has been estimated that laughing 100 times is equal to 10 minutes of exercise on a rowing machine.
3. Studies have shown that even a "fake” laughing can release endorphins and elevate your mood.
4. Laughter was a survival tool according to Janet Gibson, a professor emerita of cognitive psychology at Grinnell College in Iowa. She said that laughter evolved in humans as a communication signal.
"Laughter was the glue that kept the group together," she told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta on his Chasing Life podcast.
5. Laughter is international. It plays a crucial role in every culture across the world as a great human connector. You can recognize laughter even if it's produced by someone from a different culture.
Anthropologists think that laughter is universal, but that doesn't mean every culture finds the same things funny.
6. Laughter helps maintain a good relationships and makes them even better.
According to Freud, "laughter allows people to let off steam or release pent-up “nervous energy.”
Humor plays an important role in reducing tension with your significant other. Studies show that couples who laugh a lot together stay together.
Laughter is also an effective catalyst for new relationships.
Researchers say that if you want someone to open up to you, just make them laugh.
Sharing a few good giggles and chuckles makes people more willing to tell others something personal about themselves.
Why do we laugh?
The answer leads us to a journey into the very heart of trying to understand human nature and the evolutionary origins of laughter are rooted more in survival than enjoyment.
Laughter is a social tool, rooted deep within our brains.
Researchers have found that this increased voice control, made possible as our brains became more complex, and was essential to the development of our language.
Observations show that there are several reasons for our laughter; our brains make us because we feel like it, or because we want to fit in socially.
All these reasons were found to be true.
A good dose of hearty laughter can boost your immune system as well as your heart rate, giving us the same feeling as after a great workout.
Laughter therapy is a new form of treatment being practiced in several hospitals worldwide. It strengthens the immune system, which helps fight disease and helps patients cope with painful and difficult situations. Humor lets them put their problems in perspective.
Laughter also helps us release negative emotions which, if bottled up, can have negative physical effects on our bodies.
So, beware: laughter may be hazardous to your illness!
Many hospitals around the world see value in a new form of patient care, a therapy called 'medical clowning' that is gaining ground.
This involves clowns engaging with patients to ease the anxiety that comes with a hospital experience and promote optimism in grim wards such as the Pediatric Oncology ward.
A wonderful movie, 'Patch Adams', released in 1998, starring Robin Williams, was based on the true story of a real doctor, Dr. Patch Adams, a heroic man, and his lifelong quest to change America's health care system. He ventured where no doctor had ventured before, treating patients using humor.
The value of laughter in business
Several studies have shown the great benefits of laughter at work. Laughter affects your employees' health and lifts your team’s spirits. It also relieves stress and anxiety, soothes tension, helps as an ice breaker to create bonds with others, and deals with difficult situations.
Laughter has also been shown to boost productivity and promote creativity from being in a more relaxed state.
In addition, when people laugh at the same thing, it brings them closer together as people tend to bond more effectively in a positive environment where interpersonal relationships are fun.
It's always fun to work with someone who smiles at you and not with someone whose face is as sour as a lemon.
Laughter Yoga is a new revolution that has helped thousands of people and businesses worldwide to cope with stress, cultivate happiness and bring out your inner child.
Laughter Yoga is cost-effective and the fastest way to release tension as its technique is simple and everyone can practice it. To become a Laughter Yoga Teacher, first, you must be certified.
An Australian business found out, after one-month research, that employees felt an instant positive effect of Laughter Yoga. They reported an increase in job satisfaction and workplace wellbeing.
The study shows promise for Laughter Yoga as an effective intervention to improve the work environment.
The Laughter Guru, Dr. Madan Kataria says, "My experience with Laughter Clubs worldwide taught me that people were definitely deriving health benefits from Laughter Yoga exercises."
Easy ways to bring more laughter into your life
● Make a resolution and set a goal of laughing heartily as often as you can.
● Include laughter in your morning routine.
● Smile More during the day.
● Be around positive people who invite good reasons to laugh.
● Watch your favorite comedian show or a good comedy.
Laughter is a gift of nature
In recent years more and more people are looking for natural health remedies. They found that laughter is the most natural remedy for physical pain, emotional, loss, sadness, and stress. It is also the best anti-stress drug our Western society seems to have in large quantities.
Laughter and humor are a way of life that you should adopt in your personal and professional life for your physical and mental health and for the health of those around you.
This day, and every single day, add more laughter into your life to maintain a healthy mindset.
Laugh out loud,
Ally Gilboa is a writer, researcher, speaker, and the founder of A.Q Group- Language Solutions. Lover of words, languages & stories. As a multicultural content consultant with expertise in translation for the past 25 years, Ally shares her ideas, thoughts & knowledge, based on research + personal experience.
Her mission is to spread hope and inspire others with valuable content.