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As the saying goes, “laugh and the world will laugh with you.” Laughing really is undeniably contagious and this has been proven in multiple situations, including public service announcements and social experiments. According to an advertisement conducted through a social experiment released by a global brand, the positive vibe and energy laughter gives in a place brimming with strangers is astonishing and uncontainable. It shows a man, standing inside a subway station, who starts to laugh at the video he is watching at his mobile phone. Other passengers at the subway start to notice but try to ignore him, at first. But the man continues to laugh and then a passenger, followed by two, and more and more passengers come to laugh with him. The experiment only strengthens the idea that laughter can be spread among people of all walks of life.
Life can truly be difficult. We have our own ups and downs. But it is innate to us human beings to always incorporate laughter in our day-to-day activities. We smile for a wide variety of reasons, and we all know for a fact that laughter brings us a plethora of health benefits, including on our physical, emotional, and mental health. However, psychologists discovered in studies that laughter has more specific benefits to our frontal lobe than we used to believe. People always say that laughter is the best medicine. It may sound ridiculous at first but when you observe it, you will realize it is actually true. Laughter draws people together in ways that spark healthy changes in the body, both physical and emotional. Aside from this, an article on the mental health website Help Guide stated that laughter is scientifically recognized to strengthen your immune system, reduce your physical and emotional pain, boost your mood, and safeguard your brain from the damaging effects of stress.
As adults, we tend to laugh fewer times than we do when we were children. Yet ironically, we also encounter heavier problems and issues in life compared to when we were just kids. This is one huge factor that contributes to our daily stress from different sources such as our workplace, family, or even social life. Psychologists say that seeking out opportunities for humor and laughter will help you strengthen your emotional health and relationships. Nothing is more effective at bringing your physical, mental, and emotional well-being back into balance than a good laugh. Laughter, anyway, is fun and free. Throughout the day, we experience a bunch of ups and downs and the easiest way to put ourselves back together is by having a good laugh.
A Ph.D psychology candidate in Tufts University, Alex Borgella, says that humor contributes to one’s self-esteem. In her research centered on how, why, and when people use humor, she stressed that people with a higher sense of humor can deal with life-threatening situations better due to enhanced coping skills and a better image of oneself.
Scientists say that laughter can also boost your immune system by helping you fight against stress. It decreases your stress hormones and multiplies your immune cells to improve your resistance to disease. Moreover, laughter is also scientifically proven to release endorphins, feel-good chemicals that are released by the brain and nervous system to trigger positive feelings and reduce your perception of pain. Laughter is also scientifically verified to improve heart function by increasing blood flow to blood vessels, which can protect people from the threat of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. A study also found that laughter can reduce body calories. The study shows that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn about 40 calories. It may be no replacement to the gym, but it can be a fun and free exercise.
Social aspects play such a significant role in the health benefits of laughter. It feels good laughing on your own while watching sitcoms or comedy movies, but there’s nothing more fun than laughing with other people. Laughing brings people together and helps strengthen bonds and relationships between families, friends, or the people you love. Psychologists say that if you laugh with other people, it can give both of you a positive feeling and help you feel more relaxed, despite having yet unresolved issues and stressful situations. Humor plays a huge role in keeping the communication positive even amidst disagreements and arguments. When we laugh with other people, it creates a bond that represents a buffer against stress and disagreements. One of the best feelings in the world is having a deep-rooted belly laugh, a laugh that is genuine enough and bound to push down all negativity and self-doubt. Laughter can bring people closer together, and can establish strong and unlikely relationships between people of enormous differences. From a tiny giggle to a side-splitting guffaw, laughter never fails to change a depressing atmosphere to a cheerful and warm one.
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