We all know that laughter is a response to humor. It happens every time people find something that is hysterical to them, which seems to be its only purpose. Nevertheless, laughter has a wide range of purposes and benefits, which aren’t only about it being a source of delight. Laughter also has great medicinal benefits.
Laughter therapies are becoming more common nowadays. This is because of all the physical benefits they provide, such as strengthening our immune system, lowering blood pressure, and even burning body fat! But that’s not it. Laughing also provides us with many psychological benefits that help to improve our mental health. Here is a list of the 5 benefits that laughter provides us:
- Laughter makes us happier and more optimistic
When we laugh, our bodies produces endorphins, which are considered to be the “happiness hormone”. We also release the hormones dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters that are in charge of our motivation and balance our mood. All of these substances fight several mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. And the more intense the laughter is, the more it helps us keep a positive outlook on life.
- It’s a natural stress medicine
Aside from releasing hormones that increase our mental well-being, laughter also combats hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine. These hormones are released as a response to stress, increasing our heart rate and causing general discomfort.
- It Improves our self-esteem
As laughter improves our way of seeing things by making us more optimistic, it also helps us maintain our sense of humor regardless of the situation. This creates positive thoughts and emotional distension, things that actually boost our self-esteem.
- Our brain works better when we laugh
Another neurotransmitter released when laughing is catecholamine, a hormone that takes part in crucial brain functions, such as movement, cognition, emotions, learning and memory. This substance, triggered by laughter, is in charge of our brain’s correct functioning.
- Laughter brings people together and develops better social skills
And last but not least, as we already mentioned, laughter is the physiological response to humor. Therefore, whenever you and another person both laugh at something funny, you create a bond because you have a similar sense of humor. Sharing laughter with others means creating and sharing positive social experiences. As a result, it improves our social skills!
Laughter not only provides us with good times, but it also creates tons of positive effects on both our minds and bodies. So stop worrying about getting wrinkles and start laughing more!
Estroff, H. (2003). The Benefits of Laughter. july 2017, de Psychology Today Sitio web: https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200304/the-benefits-laughter
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2016). Stress relief from laughter? It’s no joke. july 2017, de Mayo Clinic Sitio web: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456
Edited by Viveca Shearin