As many studies suggest, laughing is a factor that can have lots of influence on improving one’s mental and physical well-being. In fact, laughter plays such a massive role in our lives that some psychologists started to include laughing as a healing method in their sessions.
Today, we plan on diving in a bit more into this topic to see all of the most important reasons that answer the question:
Why is it important to laugh?
Hopefully, this article will encourage you to laugh more every day and understand the benefits of being a positive person.
Ergo, without any further ado, let’s begin!
Laughter is the Best Medicine – But How Does It Work?
Laughter is a mechanical reflex that we can control (most of the time). You are probably aware that laughter comes to us in pleasant situations as a response to them.
(However, laughing in inappropriate situations is also a common occurrence. You can read more about that here.)
During laughter, our diaphragm contracts and pushes other organs to the side. After that, a signal is sent to the brain that our body should engage some muscles as a part of the response. While we laugh, around five hundred muscles are being contracted! So in a way, laughter is a form of good exercise!
We are sure that you have experienced strong muscle contractions in your abs once you start laughing a lot. The contractions of muscles often cannot be controlled. They are our body’s way to completely relax and drive off the negative physical and mental impacts that may have affected it.
The bottom line is – laughter is great for us in many ways. In the following section, we will be seeing the specific important mental, and physical benefits laughter can have.
Mental Benefits of Laughter
As you know, our health starts from within. Let’s take a look at all the ways laughing more can improve our mental health!
#1 – Laughter is excellent for stress relief.
There’s no doubt that you have felt so relaxed and even exhausted (positively) after having a good laughing session, right?
Well, when we laugh, our body starts producing endorphins, also known as hormones that are responsible for lowering the production of adrenaline. Adrenaline is often the bad guy that causes stress and anxiety.
Besides that, dopamine is a natural “happy” hormone, which has a significant impact on our mental health state. Conversely, the lack of dopamine can lead to depression.
So, above all, one of the essential benefits of laughter is just that – helping with depression or sadness. Of course, we aren’t saying that laughing can cure depression but rather help people cope with everyday struggles or (to some extent) avoid depressive episodes.
#2 – Laughter can increase self-confidence.
We may be stating the obvious here, but laughing does make us think positively. Therefore, once we get our daily dose of laughter, we tend to feel more fulfilled, giving us a little boost of confidence.
According to some psychologists, who are experts on this matter, having a positive mindset and a happy look at the world can help create stronger self-confidence. In fact, laughter is often used as a therapy tool to help people with little to no self-confidence boost it.
#3 – Laughter is beneficial for social interactions and bonding.
It’s undeniable that laughter has all the power to bring people closer. We have all witnessed it, surely!
There is nothing better than laughing with your colleagues at the office or with your friends at school. Laughter allows us to build professional relationships, strengthen our bonds with people, and potentially make romantic encounters.
All in all, laughter is the best way to become friends with somebody, or at least make someone’s day better by making them laugh!
Physical Benefits of Laughter
Now that we have our mental health in check from all those funny jokes, let’s look at why it is important to laugh from the standpoint of our physical health.
#1 – Laughter boosts the immune system.
We have already learned that laughter stimulates the production of certain hormones and endorphins that are good for our mental states.
However, laughing and hormones that are being released during the process of laughing also have benefits on our physical health. Namely, when we laugh, the same type of hormones when we exercise or do sports are being released. These hormones have a natural power to reduce anxiety and to have pain-relieving properties.
With that being said, laughter also has the power to strengthen our immune system by increasing the production of natural anti-inflammatory substances in our bodies.
On top of that, it can help encourage the production of antibodies, relieve muscle tension and provide cells with an appropriate amount of oxygen.
#2 – Laughter has a positive influence on our hearts.
As we have mentioned earlier, laughter is able to oxygenate our cells. By improving blood circulation, laughter helps us reduce the risk of blood clots and has the power to lower blood pressure in a matter of minutes.
Besides lowering blood pressure, it can positively impact our heart rate by slowing it down and making our entire body more relaxed, countering tensions from stress and anxiety.
Ergo, if you have any heart problems, you have a reason to make yourself laugh every day!
Laughter Yoga to the Rescue!
Even though it can be pretty hard to make yourself laugh out of nowhere, there is a way to do that.
Have you ever heard of laughter yoga?
Well, that’s a thing and a quite popular one.
Laughter yoga is a way to practice laughter so that you can make yourself feel better whenever needed. This type of exercise has been discussed in one of the TedTalk episodes. Liliana De Leo, a professional yoga teacher, explains how laughing yoga can cultivate happiness and improve one’s well-being.
As you can see, there’s a way to improve the quality of life just by teaching yourself how to laugh anytime. Even though this may sound silly, laughter yoga actually helped dozens of people create social bonds and become more connected with themselves.
So, whenever you are feeling down, or need a little boost of serotonin, look up some of the laughter yoga exercises to see if this method works for you!
It’s Your Turn!
And now, we are dying to know your thoughts about this topic:
Do you believe that laughter can strongly affect both our mental and physical health? We would also love to know if you ever got a self-confidence boost after laughing?
As this is quite an interesting topic, we would love to hear your answers. So don’t hesitate to write them down in the comments!