Our Bodies. Our Minds. Our Soul.
In late 2018, TIME published a Special Edition Magazine titled “The Science of Laughter. Our Bodies. Our Minds. Our Souls.” This one-of-a-kind TIME special edition and keepsake is packed with just under 100 pages of great content, uplifting stories, and tons of colorful pics. that will raise anyone’s HA HA HA, and have people saying, “Now this is a happy person.”
While in the check out line at my local grocery store, I grabbed the last copy that was sitting in the magazine section. After all, I’m wired for laughter and therefore, bring it quite naturally and insist upon sharing it with everyone who attends a Powerful Play Experiences workshop. Laughter becomes a “player”, a participant, an attendee, a social activity that is a feel-good act in all of my workshops. And remarkably, this feel-good act deepens relationships between people which in turn, is important for our mental health.
In fact, laughter is linked to physiological benefits in that it changes the body’s chemistry, both raising hormones responsible for happy feelings and lowering stress-related hormones.
The simple act of learning so many cool facts and information about the science of laughter has literally been a wake up call for me. How so? In terms of how I’ve always interpreted the value and impact of Powerful Play Experiences, Positive Workplace Mental Health…For Teams. No doubt, I can see how laughter heightens engagement levels amongst people in the workshops. And we all feel the amazing shift to positive energy when laughter is of abundance in the room. But now, I am learning about the science and research that validates the value and importance of laughter.
Here’s to sharing just some of the many highlights from “The Science of Laughter. Our Bodies. Our Minds. Our Souls.”
- What’s so funny? Hint: it’s not just a punch line. The reason we chuckle is to communicate with others.
- Curing what ails you. Laughter may not be the best medicine, but a growing body of work suggests that it could be as important as diet and exercise.
- What happens when you tickle a rat? Neuroscience implanted tiny electrodes in rodent brains to find out-and they laughed.
- There are two ways to look at laughter from a spiritual vantage point: joyful, contented and playful or mocking, malicious, desperate and cynical.
- Laughter is a reward. Laughter can help strengthen your immune system and heart rate, reduce stress, pain, blood pressure and loneliness. A good laugh can brighten your mood, give you a new perspective, lighten your burden and ground you.
- Plato outlawed humour in The Republic, claiming 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 get done. ) The ancient Greeks believed that laughter was dangerous because it lead to a loss of self control.
- The one-two punch. The muscles of the face begin to contract. Fifteen of them jump into action, including the zygomatic major, which lifts your upper lip. At the same time, your epiglottis, a flap at the entrance of the larynx, closes the passage to your lungs, which disrupts air intake and makes you gasp. And after a good hearty laugh, your muscles will stay relaxed for up to 45 minutes.
- A typical 10 minute conversation has an average of 5.8 bouts of laughter.
- Ten to fifteen minutes of daily laughing burns 10 to 40 calories.
- And the last laugh here in this article goes to Steve Martin, who was once overheard saying, “A day without laughter is like a day without sunshine, and a day without sunshine is like…night.”
Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article with excerpts from “The Science of Laughter. Our Bodies. Our Minds. Our Souls” as much as I have enjoyed writing it for you.
PS. Still pondering why you should contact me for a conversation about booking a Powerful Play Experiences workshop? If all you do is contact me ‘cuz your team needs a mental health break from the always busy, always stressful workplace to enjoy and benefit from a happy day packed with plenty of LAUGHTER and fun, then kudos to you!
I look forward to hearing from you.