To laugh is to show that you are happy or that you think something is funny by smiling and making a sound from your throat. Laughter is the action or sound of laughing. It is an inner quality, mood, disposition, etc., suggestive of laughter; mirthfulness. It is an expression or appearance of merriment or amusement.
“There are only two ways to live your life: One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” —Albert Einstein.
Laughter is a part of human behaviour regulated by the brain, helping humans clarify their intentions in social interaction and providing an emotional context to conversations. Laughter is used as a signal for being part of a group. It signals acceptance and positive interactions with others. Laughter is sometimes seen as contagious, and the laughter of one person can itself provoke laughter from others as a positive feedback. The study of humour and laughter, and its psychological and physiological effects on the human body, is called gelotology.
Laughter is a mechanism everyone has. Laughter is part of the universal human vocabulary. There are thousands of languages, hundreds of thousands of dialects, but everyone speaks laughter in pretty much the same way. Babies have the ability to laugh before they ever speak. Children who are born blind and deaf still retain the ability to laugh. Laughter is primitive, an unconscious vocalisation. Laughter occurs when people are comfortable with one another, when they feel open and free. The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
Laughter is more complicated and bizarre than you might think. We laugh when we perceive something funny. It’s also instinctual. Laughter is not a learned behaviour. Humans are hardwired for laughter. Laughter isn’t under our conscious control. We don’t choose to laugh in the same way that we choose to speak because laughter can’t always be tamed. Everyone’s experienced this on a small scale. Seeing someone in hysterics even if you don’t know who the person is or why they are laughing can set you laughing too. Why? Laughter is social; it’s not a solo activity, it is contagious. When you laugh, the people around you might start laughing in response. Soon, the whole group is cheerful and relaxed. Laughter can ease tension and foster a sense of group unity.
Research has proven time and time again that the average infant laughs approximately 400 times a day, compared to the 15 times a day of the average adult. If the average adult laughs only 15 times in a day, then maybe the rest of the remaining 385 times of that of the infant the adult spends in anger, in moodiness, in sadness and several forms of other negative emotions. If this is the case, then it is very unhealthy for the adult mind. It is junk for the mind and hence builds a negative attitude in the life of the adult.
Sadness is a feeling, like fear or anger, which is partly a physical response, and partly a mental response to events. There are lots of different causes of sadness. Some of them are out of our control while some are within our control. While many of our feelings are automatic, by learning more about them they can be controlled. Note that sadness, anger, and guilt can become a personal choice. Sadness is a mood characterised by feelings of disadvantage and loss. Sad people often become quiet, less energetic and withdrawn. You have the power to change your mood and be happy no matter what.
The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. Humour and laughter can cause a domino effect of joy and amusement, as well as set off a number of positive physical effects. Humour and laughter strengthen our immune systems and help us recover from illness, as well as bring joy into our lives. The question is how do we gain access to this priceless medicine?
A good hearty laugh can help:
- Reduce stress.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Elevate mood.
- Boost immune system.
- Improve brain functioning.
- Protect the heart.
- Connect you to others.
- Foster instant relaxation.
- Make you feel good.
Humour and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. This priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use. Laughter strengthens relationships, attracts others to us, promotes group bonding and helps diffuse conflict. You laugh your way to your miracle.
Laughter affects the body in the following ways:
Laughter lowers blood pressure. People who laugh heartily on a regular basis have lower standing blood pressure than the average person. When people have a good laugh, initially the blood pressure increases, but then it decreases to levels below normal. Breathing then becomes deeper which sends oxygen enriched blood and nutrients throughout the body.
Humour changes our biochemical state. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases infection fighting antibodies. It increases our attentiveness, heart rate, and pulse.
Laughter protects the heart. Laughter, along with an active sense of humour, may help protect you against a heart attack. A study at the University of Maryland Medical Centre, found that people with heart disease were forty percent less likely to laugh in a variety of situations compared to people of the same age without heart disease.
Laughter gives our bodies a good workout. Laughter can be a great workout for your diaphragm, abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back muscles. It massages abdominal organs, tones intestinal functioning, and strengthens the muscles that hold the abdominal organs in place. Not only does laughter give your midsection a workout, it can benefit digestion and absorption functioning as well.
It is estimated that hearty laughter can burn calories equivalent to several minutes on the rowing machine or the exercise bike. So weight watchers this is one good way to burn off calories. Isn’t this amazing? This can be true if we have been told that people that are depressed add weight. We now know that the weight is not only as a result of eating too much during that state, but because the added calories do not burn as fast as it should be. Laughter burns it and keeps you healthy.
Humour improves brain function and relieves stress. Laughter stimulates both sides of the brain to enhance learning. It eases muscle tension and psychological stress, which keeps the brain alert and allows people to retain more information. If you want to pass that exam you need to retain the information needed to pass the exam and this you can easily achieve through laughter.
Truth is, your miracle is a laugh away! You have a free gift of laughter, use it.