Published: 07/24/2011 - Updated: 02/13/2018
Laughing is one of the most beautiful and obvious joy. When we laugh, we don’t only full ourselves with life and energy, but there is also a liberating and pleasurable sensation which generates many positive reactions in our body.
Analyzing the laughter from a physiological point of view, when we laugh, spasms of the diaphragm and a contraction in almost all the muscles of the face (over one hundred muscles) are produced, which helps supply blood and oxygen to the entire face, helping keep and good elasticity and facial muscle preservation. Depending on the intensity of the laughter, the lower jaw vibrates and stretches, and this helps bring a lot of air or oxygen to the lungs, and tear glands activate which lubricates the eyes with life. On the other side, the heart gets accelerated, causing a vigorous and healthy blood circulation that energizes the entire body.
Releasing emotions through laughter
Besides the above, one of the greatest benefits of laughter is that it is one of the most beneficial ways to release pent-up emotions such as anger, crying, anxiety, etc. which can be accumulated with great emphasis on the body resulting in strong tensions and energy blockages in the muscles, organs and systems of the body, that can degenerate pressure later in all sorts of conditions such as weakness, fatigue, depression, insomnia, problems in liver, kidney, eyes, etc., if it’s not released.
While laughing, pectoral, facial, and some back and neck muscles release large amount of accumulated tension, which produces a pleasant and relaxing sensation.
Stimulation of hormones of pleasure and intelligence through laughter
As the laughter is one of the forms of joy, when we are happy and smiling, our brain can think of many interesting reactions. When you laugh, our brain secretes several hormones such as acetylcholine, molecular substance which creates intelligence and transmits our view, because thanks to it we can do critical analysis and develop a coherent logic. In addition, among other things, acetylcholine works as a transmitter of a substance called parasympathetic and helps regulate the lungs, intestines, bladder and sexual organs.
Laughter also helps train other endogenous drugs such as dopamine, norepinephrine, endorphins and oxytocin. Among other tasks, dopamine is responsible for building the capacity of concentration, gives mental clarity, prevents depression and fear and helps to balance and harmonize sexual and vegetative circulatory system. In addition, dopamine helps stimulate the production of white blood cells which strengthens and enhances immune system activity.
Therefore, we can realize that the laughter is a method that can help tremendously to the emotional and physical health of the individual. This is why it is considered one of the simplest holistic therapies for health and leisure.
Laughter therapy can be practiced anywhere and at any time, just simply let the laughter flow or connect with something that inspires us laugh.
A brief summary of the great benefits of laughter are:
- Calms tensions
- Releases anxiety, depression, crying, etc.
- Helps fight insomnia
- Strengthens the immune system and helps fight cardiovascular, respiratory and any disease
- Helps to feel free and confident
- It makes us more understanding
- It develops mental clarity and better reasoning
When you can’t laugh
If you feel that it isn’t easy to laugh, do not worry. Not everyone can laugh out loud and some people find it hard even to smile. This usually happens in people who often control their emotions or do not enjoy the moments spontaneously, either by trying to stay in a personal mandatory or trying to be pleasing to others instead of just being what they are in an authentic way. If you think this is the case, we suggest you include some laugh therapy in group, because in these groups will help to flow laughter.
It is also important to try to enjoy the moments and make an effort to avoid controlling what you feel because this prevents to enjoy the pleasant experiences of life. We can achieve little by little through self-observation, and try to connect more with who you are than what you are not.
Laughter therapy in children
For children, it is one of the best therapies to help them express their emotions and release tension, fears and frustrations of this age.
Where can I practice laughter therapy in group?
Currently, laughter therapy is a resource used by some teachers of yoga, but also can be found in other groups of development.
But if you don’t find a group, do not be discouraged. Find movies or read books that make you laugh, or try to be with happy people who have well developed sense of humor.