As many scientific papers have shown over the years, good humor and laughter have health benefits. They all agree that in the face of the various situations life throws at us, a positive and somewhat smiling attitude helps to promote well-being, reduce the risk of physical or mental problems and Makes it possible for them to deal with it better. or resolved more efficiently. Speed.
And that is, although initially laughter causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, its long-term effects result in a significant decrease in these. What do these effects remind us of? Indeed, for those derived from physical activity, one of the best pills doctors can prescribe and one whose positive cardiovascular effects may be similar to those caused by laughter.
For example, with laughter triggered by a joke, the prime mover muscle is activated, which increases lung capacity and improves breathing. In other words, with one laugh we can contract hundreds of muscles, including the muscles of the face, chest, abdomen… But well, if there is still a reader who is not completely convinced, here is another relevant fact : Laughter causes a 10-20% increase in energy expenditure above resting values, which means that 10-15 minutes of laughter a day can make us lose about 10 kcal.
Now, if we leave aside the expression of laughter, the expression of good humor refers to a state of mind in general. That is to say, it is not a specific emotion, usually requiring a specific external stimulus and is transitory. A good mood is a less intense and specific state, but one that lasts longer. And it is this state that is manifested through signs or feelings such as smiles and laughter, happiness, peace, generosity, and a general sense of well-being.
Therapy against stress and depression
However, over the years and especially after the pandemic, anxiety and stress have taken over most people’s lives and it is becoming increasingly difficult to smile. While children laugh an average of 300 to 400 times a day, an adult laughs only 10 to 15 times a day. For this reason, celebrating the day like the Holy Innocents, in which it is permitted to play jokes and use humor as the main means of communication, is an occasion not to be missed. A study by Argentine researchers published in 2019 states, “A sense of humor and laughter have been postulated as both promoting and protective factors of resilience.”
Furthermore, the text states that “people can increase control over their own physical health by cultivating positive emotion experiences, thus creating a better quality of life.” And he says that, among other things, humor can “discharge anxiety, fear and anguish, as well as facilitate the expression of hostility, anger or aggression in a socially accepted way”. Similarly, “it allows us to appreciate the positive side of a situation, allowing us to point out inconsistencies or contradictions”.
It should not be forgotten that laughter lowers serum levels of cortisol (the main stress hormone), adrenaline and 3,4-dihydrophenylacetic acid (an important catabolite of the so-called feel-good hormone, dopamine). What’s more, these neurotransmitters are reduced in depression, so Laughter therapy can be used as an effective treatment, Even when faced with physical ailments, humor can be a great way to fight pain. Laughter also releases endorphins and serotonin, two hormones that have a certain analgesic component that helps reduce pain. In fact, a recent analysis concluded that clown therapy in children appears to be effective in reducing pain associated with diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.
We’ll keep reporting…