Believe it or not, according to psychology, laughter has proven benefits; it triggers the release of feel-good hormones like serotonin, which make people feel calm and happy. Although laughter may not be a drug, it delivers doses of physical and emotional benefits. If you are spending more time at home due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, watching a few comedy movies is one way to entertain yourself. Also, since adult life can be stressful, you will have to be intentional about maintaining a great sense of humor to improve your emotional health and find your happiness. Here are the top reasons to take this seriously.
- A healthy body and immune system
When you laugh and smile, you reduce your physical stress and tension. Your muscles will also stay relaxed for at least 45 minutes. Laughter also boosts your immune system by decreasing stress hormones and increasing immune cells and antibodies. Consequently, your body will get better at fighting infections. When laughter triggers feel-good chemicals (endorphins), they improve your wellness and relieve pain temporarily. Do you want to have a healthier heart? Then prioritize engaging in activities that make you laugh, and in this case, that includes watching comedy movies. Experts have linked laughter to healthy blood vessels and proper blood flow. This means that when you laugh more often, you can lower your risks of cardiovascular disorders.
- Control your anger and extend your lifespan
If you are someone who has an explosive temper, laughter could help you keep your cool. In fact, a shared laugh can diffuse your anger faster than you thought. Therefore, as you stay safe at home, try to look at things from a comic perspective. This will enable you to transition from bitterness to happiness. Additionally, some researchers have theorized that laughter can boost your lifespan. One Norwegian research study revealed that individuals with a better sense of humor lived longer than those who didn’t laugh that much.
- Enhance your mental health
Comedy lovers understand that laughter makes them feel good. Positive feelings from laughter stay with you for a while, even after the laughter has subsided. People with a great sense of humor have an optimistic outlook on life when they are going through difficult moments such as the global coronavirus pandemic.
Aside from relieving you of pain and anger, laughter empowers you with courage and strength. Unlock new sources of hope in life by laughing more often. In tough times like the COVID-19 era, good laughter can enhance your mental health. There’s no way you will feel anxious when you are laughing. Also, since laughter is contagious, it has a profound effect on your bonds with other people. Humor from movies creates a positive psychological environment that helps you diffuse conflicts and avoid being overwhelmed by the stress from daily life.
- Reduce your blood pressure
Laughing at stand-up comedy can boost your blood flow and help lower your blood pressure. Research studies have shown that laughter facilitates blood flow through your arteries, which in turn reduces your blood pressure and lowers your risks of heart diseases. Interestingly, one study has confirmed that watching a funny movie improved BP for a full day (24 hours) after the viewer had stopped viewing the program. While humorous movies enhance the dilation of your arteries, depressing TV programs can be harmful to the health of your blood vessels. Hypertension (high blood pressure) is one of the dangerous health conditions that’s common in the world today. Therefore, consider laughing more to decrease your risks of experiencing elevated blood pressure and its dire consequences.
- Stimulate your mind
Dr. Scott Weems, an experienced cognitive neuroscientist, has discovered that people who are big fans of comedy shows are better at answering semantic associates tasks. This appears to suggest that watching stand-up comedy could enhance your brainpower. In one experiment, Dr. Weems assigned semantic associates tasks to several classes of people, including individuals who watch comedy videos, do light exercises, and those who did nothing. Amazingly, it emerged that participants who did nothing at all answered two fewer questions than comedy lovers. Exercise freaks also fared well in the test than their do-nothing counterparts. Dr. Weems concluded that comedy is more or less a form of mental exercise; it strengthens your body and pumps up your mind.
- Treat schizophrenia and relieve pain naturally
As far-fetched as it may sound, a comedy show can alleviate your pain naturally. As already stated, when you laugh, you release doses of endorphins which act as natural pain killers. In 2011, university researchers from Oxford found out that people who watched comedy shows after experiencing painful stimuli had a better pain tolerance than those who were not exposed to comedy. Schizophrenic patients can also use laughter to alleviate their symptoms. Studies have shown that laughter reduces levels of psychopathy and enhances your social awareness.
- Stress relief and muscle relaxation
By watching comedy shows, you can maximize the therapeutic effects of laughter. When you laugh hard to the extent of holding your tummy, you are on your way to relieving yourself from stress. That’s because laughing reduces the levels of stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine; this will create a calm environment for your mind and body. In 2008, researchers from the American Physiological Society published findings that suggested that anticipation of laughter reduced levels of cortisol, epinephrine, and DOPAC by about 39%, 70%, and 38%, respectively. You can also give your muscles a break by watching comic videos. Laughter increases the flow of oxygen through your muscles and relieves them of tension. In fact, when you attend one comedy show, your muscles may stay relaxed for up to one hour afterward.
- Build romantic relationships
Assuming you have been searching for love for years but never mustered the courage to confess your feelings for someone, attending a comedy show could help you break the ice. Spending a night out laughing together with your crush could turn out to be a breakthrough moment for you to connect with your soulmate. Comedy shows provide a perfect venue for people to be with those they adore. Sharing laughter with your partner can also strengthen the bonds of your relationship, and many successful relationships are built with a great sense of humor.
- Effective workout
Are you feeling lazy to step out to the gym? Well, why not watch comedy? Watching funny programs is one way to exercise yourself. Although laughing should not fully replace your gym fitness routines, it does have some benefits attached to it. Research studies have suggested that when you laugh for about 10-15 minutes, you can burn roughly 50 calories. Yet that’s not all the good news about laughter; it also works out your stomach muscles. Each time you laugh, your stomach muscles expand and contract.
With so many comedy movies available online and on streaming platforms, you can make your stay-at-home life a delight. Stand-up comedians can also keep you entertained during the lockdown. In addition to laughter, you can also include some games to release stress. You can join the famous American actor Russel Crowe and many other fans of bingo in the game. Playing games is a smart way to have fun and even sometimes make money.
- Promotes peace and love in families
You are most likely to laugh when you find yourself around other people than when you stay all alone. And the more you bring smiles to the faces of other people, the more you increase their happiness. Sharing fun times with your family and friends are also worth it, and one way to do that is by watching a comedy movie with them. These activities help you build fond memories with the ones you love, which will go a long way to strengthen your bond.
The truth is that it may be hard for you to enjoy a good time with family if you don’t engage them in a conversation. However, it will be easier to initiate such a discussion after everyone has had a good laugh. So, try your best to make more time for your family, especially during the pandemic, and incorporate activities that keep you laughing. During these family gatherings, try to eliminate distractions such as phones.
- Helps in conflict resolution
Laughter is also a vital tool for managing conflicts in different settings such as in relationships, at the workplace, in homes, and schools. When emotions are high, gentle laughter can reduce tension. For example, if you have strong disagreements with your partner, co-worker, family member, or friend — you can use humor to start the process of resolving issues. You just have to analyse the situation and figure out the silver lining. Finding the humor helps to lighten the mood and lower tempers so that solutions can be found. It will also prevent the parties involved from uttering words or performing actions that they might regret later. So, whenever there is a dispute, consider using humor to cool things down before addressing the issue.