The physical and psychological benefits of laughter
Several studies and researches have tried to find the influence that laughter has on our mental and physical health . In fact, we are all aware that laughing is something healthy and that it makes certain muscles work that we rarely use in our daily life. In addition, laughter also generates in our body certain hormones that provide us with happiness and good humor.
Laughter is a historically recognized medicine
The ability to improve our mood that laughter has is not something that humans have recently discovered. The benefits of laughter have been known for centuries, proof of this are the writings of Plato or Socrates, who they already conceived the human laughter as a source of pleasure .
Sigmund Freud himself, more recently, declared that laughter is an essential key to release tensions and negative energies . In many cultures, laughter has been an important element to achieve body-spirit harmony, as for example in Hindu philosophy.
From psychology, laughter has also been considered as a resource to promote the psychological well-being and health of individuals. Its best known form is the Laughter therapy , a therapy based on good humor and positive effects for our mind that has a healthy habit of laughing.
What exactly are the benefits of laughter?
Laughing is important in our lives. It is a healthy way to keep our body and mind in good shape.
Physical benefits of laughter
- Activates muscles that we do not use regularly . When we laugh out loud our body is activated and more than 400 muscles move. This contraction and muscle relaxation is what makes the laughter itself. Laughter causes a level of physical activity similar to when we do running moderate. Have you noticed that when you laugh for a long time, your abdominals hurt?
- Strengthens our immune system . Laughter makes our body generate more Inmonuglobulin A and T lymphocytes, antibodies that are responsible for fighting viruses and bacteria. This means that our defenses are reinforced and, therefore, that our health is more resistant.
- Burns body fat . When laughing, our abdomen and diaphragm contract, so that they facilitate the digestive process, eliminating fat and toxins from our body, and improving intestinal regulation.
- Our body receives more oxygen . Between laughter and laughter, we receive more than twice the oxygen we breathe in a resting situation. The effort that our muscles make requires higher levels of oxygen in the blood. If you know someone who has fits of laughter, you will have noticed that there may come a time when you feel something choked. This may be because your muscles are exercising a lot, or because you have inhaled too much oxygen, producing the same symptom of suffocation.
Psychological benefits of laughter
- We release endorphins . When we laugh, we secrete a hormone called endorphin, which is very associated with the feeling of happiness. The greater the intensity of the laughter, the more endorphin segregation our nervous system generates, and with it the more sensation of pleasure and well-being we feel. In addition, laughter also makes us segregate dopamine Y serotonin, substances that fight some mood disorders such as depression or anxiety.
- A powerful anti-stress . In addition to the hormones and their beneficial effect on our mood, laughter also has the ability to activate many muscles that, once we have stopped laughing, return to relax. This increases a state of physical distension and also psychological. A good way to combat negative thoughts and emotional ballast.
- Improve the performance of our brain or . Another hormone (neurotransmitter) that we segregate when we laugh is the catecholamine, which is involved in the proper functioning of our brain. This neurotransmitter also has the ability to improve our memory, academic performance and mental agility.
- It makes us more sociable . When we share good times with friends or colleagues and laugh in this social context, we are sharing unique and positive experiences, which improves our socialization. Laughter in common can improve our interpersonal relationships.
- Increase self-esteem . Laughter allows us to put aside the sense of ridicule and take our lives with good humor and with more relaxation, which can lead to an improvement in our self-esteem.
- Encourage our optimism . Laughter gives us a positive mood. When we are in a good mood, it is usual that we generate more positive thoughts.laughter can serve to relativize the difficulties and start creating a good mental state that leads to optimism.
Several conclusions about laughter
It is clear that laughter is one of the best natural therapies that exist . For all the explained, philosophy and science are increasing year after year our knowledge about good humor and its ability to positively influence our health and our mood.
So, let's leave out for a few moments the worries of everyday life and learn to enjoy everything that is capable of provoking a laugh.