the science of laughter

The Science of Laughter: Our Bodies. Our Minds. Our Soul.

In late 2018, TIME published a Special Edition Magazine entitled “The Science of Laughter. Our Bodies. Our Minds. Our Souls.”. TIME’s special edition and keepsake is filled with just under 100 pages of great content, inspiring stories, and tons of color photos. This will raise anyone’s HA HA HA, and they will say, “Now here is a happy person.”.

As I was checking out at my local grocery store, I grabbed the last copy that was in the magazine section. Since I’m wired for laughter, I bring it quite naturally and insist upon sharing it with everyone who attends a Powerful Play Experiences workshop. In my workshops, laughter becomes a participant, an attendee, and a feel-good act that deepens relationships between people. This in turn, is critical to our mental health.

In fact, LAUGHTER HAS PHYSIOLOGICAL BENEFITS because it alters the body’s chemistry, raising hormones associated with happiness and lowering stress hormones.

 

Simply learning so many cool facts and information about the science of laughter has literally woken me up. How? In terms of how I’ve always interpreted the value and impact of Powerful Play Experiences, I can clearly see how laughter increases engagement levels in workshops. When laughter is abundant in a room, we all feel the shift to positive energy. However, I am now learning about the science and research that validates the importance and value of laughter.

These are some of the many highlights from “The Science of Laughter. Our Bodies. Our Minds. Our Souls.”

  • The reason we laugh is to communicate with others. It’s not always about the punch line.
  • Laughter may not be the best medicine, but a growing body of research suggests that laughter could be as important as diet and exercise.
  • Neuroscience implanted electrodes in rodent brains to find out what happens when you tickle them – they laughed.
  • From a spiritual perspective, laughter can be either joyful, contented, and playful or mocking, malicious, desperate, and cynical.
  • Laughter can help strengthen your immune system and heart rate, reduce stress, pain, and blood pressure. A good laugh can boost your mood, give you a fresh perspective, lighten your load, and ground you.
  • In The Republic, Plato outlawed humour, stating that it distracted people from more serious matters. (I really like this fact! Today we would say, ‘Fun at work is a distraction from work that needs to be done.) Ancient Greeks believed laughter led to a loss of self-control.
  • The muscles of the face begin to contract. Fifteen of them perform the action, including the zygomatic major, which lifts your upper lip. In addition, your epiglottis, a flap of tissue at the entrance to your larynx, closes the passage to your lungs, which disrupts air intake and makes you gasp. Your muscles will stay relaxed for up to 45 minutes after a good laugh.
  • During a typical 10 minute conversation, there are 5.8 bouts of laughter.
  • Laughing for 10 to 15 minutes daily burns up to 40 calories.
  • In this article, Steve Martin gets the last laugh. He was once overheard saying, “A day without laughter is like a day without sunshine, and a day without sunshine is like night.”.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article with excerpts from “The Science of Laughter. Our Bodies. Our Minds. Our Souls” as much as I enjoyed writing it for you.

PS. Do you still have questions about why you should contact me about booking a Powerful Play Experiences workshop? You should be commended if all you do is contact me because your team needs a mental health break from the always busy, always stressful workplace to enjoy and benefit from plenty of LAUGHTER AND FUN!

I look forward to hearing from you.

About the Author

For over 16 years now, Robert has travelled throughout Alberta facilitating the most amazing team development workshop experiences with amazing levels of fun, energy, and plenty of happy & joy. No sit and listen, stand and deliver power point presentations here! In Person & Online!

Robert’s message is simple. “Business Leaders! Step Up! Embrace the value of Fun At Work & Building A Culture Of Highly Engaged And Happy Teams! It’s the #1 strategy to raise positive mental health levels, Home l Office l Remote. Let’s be real here! No one person is immune to the daily mental health challenges that we all are facing. We all need to prioritize our daily mental health both in work and in life.”

As an avid Mental Health Champion and a Canadian Mental Health Association ( CMHA ) Certified Psychological Health and Safety Advisor, Robert is quite comfortable sharing his personal story of living with and managing depression and anxiety. His goal? To be a role model for men everywhere who need to get comfortable with talking about their daily mental health and choose to be authentic, brave & vulnerable.

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