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    Psychological Effects


    Everyone enjoys a good hearty laugh. Perhaps one of the most pronounced psychologically beneficially to human health, laughter reduces fear, calms anger and relieves depression. These are negative emotions often stored in people rather than being expressed. These may lead to negative biochemical changes that can affect our body. Laughter provides a way for these emotions to be harmlessly released. Ever wondered why people who are upset and stressed out often look upon catching a funny movie or a comedy club as a means of distressing? Laughter is cathartic. By doing so they can laugh the negative emotions away.

    Instead of being all gloomy and frustrated, laughter brings about a sense of renewal in us. It thus provides us with positive views that the very small things that we sometimes deem threatening, are not the earth-shaking events they sometimes seem to be. Laughing terminate cycles of negativity and depression. Lifting us up out of our these doom and gloom situations, laughter enables us to gain new insights and us to look at a problem from a brighter perspective, making them seem less serious, and realise opportunities for increased objectivity.

    Are the supporting evidence that the above are true? YES! Laughter produces activities in cells that attacks viruses and tumour cells, hence frequent laughers are healthier than frequent frowners. It takes 72 muscles to frown but just 14 to laugh. Hence laughers look younger than frowners. Be positive! Bad feelings lead to bad habits, people with bad feelings frown more and laugh less. On the other hand, people who look at the bright side of things, laugh more often and are healthier. Laughing is contagious; those who laugh or smile, make others laugh or smile.

    What are social benefits of laughter? What better way to break the ice and let patients discuss feelings about their illness? Just as they work well in social settings generally, humour and laughter promote relaxation and the more pleasurable aspects of life for patients as well. By looking for opportunities for laughter and joy, we effectively create an environment that is pleasant and upbeat. This in turn promotes the health and psychological well-being.

    Laughter is a social glue as it improves bonding. Those who laugh more attract more friends in their lives; improves communications and closeness (people like to be around those who can make them laugh, since laughing lubricates conversation); serves as channel for harmless release of emotions; provides other perspectives in tough times, and increases socialization and enhances communication.