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6 Reasons Why Laughter Therapy is the Ultimate Tool for Emotional Survival

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They say laughter is the best medicine, and while we’re not sure that laughter therapy can actually ease our menstrual cramps or cure Cancer (wishful thinking), it’s comforting to know that the act of laughing can truly help you not just survive, but also thrive emotionally in your daily life. To understand why laughing—and comedy, which can make you laugh unlike anything else—has undeniable health benefits, you also need to understand why stress (aka, the anti-laughter) can have such negative effects on your life. According to Dr. Lee Berk, an associate professor at Loma Linda University in California, “laughter shuts down the release of stress hormones like cortisol.

It also triggers the production of feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine, which have all kinds of calming, anti-anxiety benefits. Think of laughter as the yin to stress’s yang.” If stress can suppress your immune system and lead to sickness, then laughter can have the opposite effect, improving everything from blood flow to brain function. This is really good news for all of us comedy-lovers who spend hours every night watching re-runs of Modern Family. We’re not just indulging in some quality entertainment; we’re actually working to improve our health and well-being, one giggle-fit at a time. So grab the remote control; here are 6 reasons why laughter therapy is the key to an emotionally satisfying existence.

1. It can improve neural activity

Woman with laughter

Studies have shown that the laughter, whether from a social situation, a moment of personal embarrassment or watching a comedy show, can improve your brain activity. Dr. Lee found that “laughter seems to induce “gamma” frequencies—the type of brain waves observed among experienced meditators. These gamma waves improve the “synchronization” of your neuronal activity, which bolsters recall and memory.” We’re officially in favor of any activity that is fun and can help improve our brain capacity.

2. It can help relieve tension

Life can be chaotic, and like it or not, many of the experiences you encounter throughout your day can add stress, rather than adding joy. In the midst of all those stressful situations, it’s crucial that you find ways to relax and unwind if you want to feel your best. There are tons of ways to let loose, but laughter is definitely one of the most fun. Laughing helps to relieve tension in your face and your body, and it can also help stimulate circulation, which aids in muscle relaxation.

3. It can help release endorphins


Similar to the way that exercise can affect your state of being in a positive way, laughter also causes your body to release endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that lead to feelings of joy and euphoria. “Endorphins reduce the sensation of pain and stimulate positive emotion. Their release is critical for stress relief, and therefore for our mental health.”

4. It can improve your mood

A bad day can quickly be transformed into a funny day if you are able to laugh. Laughter can be a quick pick-me-up on a rough morning, and it can even have long-term effects on your mood, helping people combat depression and chronic anxiety.

5. It can distract you from your stressful responsibilities

A young woman with a laugh on her face

Sometimes you need a way to escape from reality and ignore your daily tasks so you can enjoy so innocent fun. A good sense of humor can go a long way in helping you to tune out the aspects of your day that make you feel anxious and stressed, and instead focus on the things and people who make you feel silly and happy. It might be your best friend or it might be the cast of Friends, but when you find someone or something that makes you laugh, don’t let it go.

6. It can build abdominal strength

Last but not least, do not underestimate the physical effects of laughter on your body. You know how after a long giggle fit you can feel sore and exhausted in your mid-section? That’s not a coincidence. Laughing works your abdominal muscles—no crunches required.

The post 6 reasons why laughter therapy is the best tool for emotional survival appeared first on Mundo Hispanico

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