A friend tells a joke, there’s a funny social media video, your favorite sitcom or comical movie is on… so many ways to enjoy all things funny! And doesn’t it feel good to laugh? But why does laughter feel good?
Scientists created a whole field of study called Gelotology, which is the study of laughter and its effects on the body, from a psychological and physiological perspective. Its proponents often advocate induction of laughter on therapeutic grounds in alternative medicine.
Many studies have been done on laughter’s effect on our bodies, including this one from the Mayo Clinic. This study basically says that laughter can induce physical changes in our bodies:
Laughter enhances our intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates our heart, lungs, muscles, and increases the endorphins released by our brains. It can also improve our immune systems ability to fight stress induced illnesses.
So you see, with all of the physical benefits from laughter, it must also be a sure fire way to elevate our mood and get our mental health on the right track! I mean, what could go wrong?
Yea for me, the laughter high fades away at some point and I feel like my mental struggles are right back where I started from. So what to do about it? I guess enjoy the moments while they last, and look forward to that next moment of levity to lift my spirits. Even if it is just for a moment.
Have you laughed today?