Laughter Laughter is an emotion that has been vastly underestimated by our society. Laughter is ultimately an expression of emotion - joy, surprise, nervousness, amusement. Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. Laughter is a healthy means of releasing pent-up feelings. Laughter is such an intristic part of our lives that we sometimes forget how very odd it is. Plates Superiority Theory suggests that we laugh because a particular person has a defect or is at a disadvantage (Bli stein 563).
Anecdotal evidence has long suggested that people feel better after a hearty laugh. Laughter can also promote coughing, which, in turn, helps rid the trachea and bronchi of phlegm and mucus. Laughter is a natural, physical process which releases pain, physically and emotionally. Laughter springs from our emotional core. Laughter helps release and transform our emotional pain. One cannot laugh and be afraid simultaneously, its physically impossible.
While laughing you cannot think of anything else. Either you think or you laugh, but not both. Laughter reduces aggression and conflict. Laughter relieves anxiety.
Laughter also shrinks the source and size of our fears. Laughter has benefited many people to sleep better and reduce depression (Junkins 2). People with suicidal tendencies have started living with more hope (Junkins 2). Laughter helps us feel better (Junkins 1). After you laugh, you go into a relaxed state (Doskoch 33). Laughter helps us creatively weigh and use our options.
Laughter gives us back our playfulness, a characteristic of all mankind (Junkins 1). Playing with painful things is a major source for our laughter (Junkins 2). Mother Nature did not provide us with laughter just for grins. She gave us laughter to heal our bodies and our emotions so we can cope with life as we experience it. Laughter can be an excellent source of cardiac exercise, it causes the heart rate to rise for up to five minutes (McGhee 52). When a patient who is at risk for pulmonary infection laughs, it helps clear his lungs of residual air, which contains high levels of carbon dioxide and water vapor.
Other studies have found that humor and laughter boost humoral and cellular immunity by increasing levels of other key components of the immune system. People who have suffered strokes in the primitive brain region have been known to have prolonged bouts of pathological laughter (McGhee 52). When a person laughs the brain produces endorphins one of the bodys natural pain killers (McGhee 51). Laughter increases production of immunity-boosting gamma interferon and speeds up the production of new immune cells (Doskoch 33).
Laughter may help some people more than others (Doskoch 34). Humor and laughter strengthens the bodys resistance to infections, offers pain relief and serves as a medium to release tension, frustration, and anger (McGhee 50). A long hard laugh is like internal jogging. Laughter, mind you, is not the same thing as humor. Humor is only one trigger for laughter, although a really good one (Junkins 2).
Other triggers for laughter might be tense or boring situations, absurd things happening at serious moments, embarrassment, or the uncomplicated, unsophisticated truth (Junkins 2). The use of laughter as a method of stress reduction and healing became popular in the 1980 s after the publication of Anatomy of an Illness written by Norman Cousins in 1979. Suffering from a painful life-threatening disease, Cousins believed that laughter was a significant feature of his treatment and recovery. By laughing it helps to remind us that those things in life that do not kill us can make us stronger.
Laughter allows us to bond with other people and ease our loneliness. Laughter creates bonds between management and employees, and employees feel more connected to one another (Junkins 1). If we can allow laughter at work, we will feel less overwhelmed and better able to do our jobs (Junkins 1). Laughter allows us to be creative and to work harder but more comfortable.
Laughter happens when people are comfortable with one another. Laughter is out of control (Junkins 1). If you seek out companions who laugh a lot, you will laugh a lot more. Laughter is contagious, laughter creates laughter. People are thirty times likely to laugh around other people than when they are alone (Junkins 1). Another way laughter can help a patient reduce his stress is by giving him a sense of control.
Laughter is more of a supplementary and preventive therapy (Junkins 1). Laughter can provide immediate relief from lifes daily pressures. A good laugh helps the body relax. During exuberant laughter, there is a change in many parts of the body even the arm, legend trunk muscles. When you laugh, the skeletal muscles in your arms and legs relax.
One study found that stress hormones were reduced after participants watched a videotape of a one-hour comedy routine. A person can change a negative flame of mind into a positive one through humor and laughter. Laughter is not only as good a method of stress relief as a massage, a hot bath or exercise, it is essential to stress relief. The ability to get a laugh out of everyday situations is a safety valve that will rid you of tensions that might otherwise continue to build and damage your health.
Laughter through tears, has been called the perfect emotion (Junkins 1). One theory proposes that laughing triggers a sequence of actions in which muscle tension first increases, than decreases - which, explains why you can end up weak with laughter (McGhee 52). Charles Darwin, the father of the theory of evolution, mused that tickling and humor must be related because both make people laugh. Studies show that laughter during tickling is a reflex, not a response to a feeling that tickling is funny (Marcus 67). We laugh when we really need it most if we let the body do what comes naturally (Junkins 1). Human beings are born with the gift of laughter.
A sense of humor is not necessary to laugh. The more you practice laughing, the better your sense of humor becomes. Finding the things that spark your sense of humor and enjoying them often offers the reward of ongoing laughter. After fifteen minutes of laughter in the morning, you will feel fresh throughout the day (Junkins 1). Laughter will help you feel pleasure and fun once again. Perhaps the most obvious effect of laughter is on our mood (Doskoch 32).
A good laugh can help us to see life from a different perspective and face our problems with a renewed concentration and hope. Laughter helps us see things more clearly. Laughter also improves our mood through social means. Laughter will clear your mind, lift your mood, and help you cope (Junkins 3).
Laughter is an expression of mood that involves the entire cerebral cortex of the brain and is closely related to mental and physical health (Doskoch 32). Most important is the experience of the wonderful healing power which is unleashed when we laugh. Laughter relieves anxiety. Thirty minutes a day of mirthful laughing can help protect coronary patients from repeat heart attacks (Junkins 1). Allowing laughter to swell into a movement across the land would reduce our growing anger and violence (Junkins 1).
Everyone would be in less of a funk if they laughed more. If your laughing, you are not as likely to find yourself driving at ramming speeds and in a fit of road rage (Junkins 3). In closing, laughter is a very unique emotion that is unfortunately undervalued and vastly underestimated by todays society. Laughter is an emotion that provides many benefits such as stress relief, bonding with others, exercise, etc.
Laughter is a cheerful emotion that people should think about more often.