We all cope differently with stress and worry. Some take it very seriously and some roll out their best comedy acts.  Let’s talk about laughter, is it the ultimate issue avoidance tact or is it true ammunition for battle? 

By the way, did you hear about the guy who said: “This long-distance relationship isn’t going to work: Fridge, you’re moving to my bedroom!” Physical distancing can be tough, they say long distance relationships will teach you how to communicate, we should be mind-readers by now! We are constantly experiencing some degree of fear and as one of my athlete friends use to say, “I use to have a fear of hurdles, but I got OVER it!”. 

That’s the balance of combining insight with a sense of humour. Humor is when we expect one thing and then something else happens. Our brains train of thought is broken by social information shared with others. It signals that life is not all that bad, that we are safe and that our worry meter can relax a bit. 

The Scientific Facts About Laughter

  • Laughter releases endorphins from the brain which give us energy and optimism, our own natural “feel-good” chemical.
  • Laughter is contagious and when others join into your humour, your bond with them increases and you develop social connections that we crave as humans.
  • Laughter triggers a burst of brain activity causing a release of a chemical connector called Serotonin, the same transmitter that anti-depressant drugs stimulate. 
  • Laughter reduces our stress and stress hormones which reduces inflammation and increases immunity, research has show  that laughter decreases heart disease. Maybe that’s why a good “hearty” laugh is healthy. 
  • Laughter increases your oxygen as you take deep breaths and much more fun than breathing exercises. 
  • Laughter is great for your muscles from your face to your toes, sometimes causing tears of joy as our eye muscles squeeze the tear ducts. Oh boy, that always feels good. 

What makes us Laugh?

  1. The unexpected insight delivered with expression.
    “After years of wanting to clean my house but lacking the time, this week I discovered That wasn’t the reason.”
  2. Putting a caption on an action.
    Dog on top of kitchen cupboard’s during Covid19: “I’m not coming down, I have been on 20 walks today, Leave Me Alone”
  3. Seeing the unpredictable happen
    • Man walking with brief case slipping on a banana peel
    • Kid hits a telephone pole walking and eating ice cream
    • Woman tripping down the stairs dressed in her finest ball gown

See, made you smile and these are the oldest of oldest images, still used today. 

Photo by Elena Cordery on Unsplash

Laughter Prescription

  • Practice laughter daily on a frequent basis
  • Make yourself laugh, make others laugh
  • Laugh at yourself, laugh with others

Funny Ideas

  • Comedy Flix from Rom-Com to Silly
  • Stand-up Comedy Channels
  • Online Improvise comedy classes
  • Laughter Clubs
  • Comedy Troupes like Second City Online Comedy Camp

“The human race has only one effective weapon and that is laughter” – Mark Twain

Resources:

Great article and resources from the Canadian Counseling and Psychotherapy Association.

Laughter Yoga – New Trend

Cover Image Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

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