Laughter's Physical Power - Deepstash

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Laughing is good for your mind and your body – here's what the research shows

Laughter's Physical Power

Laughter's Physical Power

We learn to laugh at a young age, most at infancy. Being able to laugh during our infancy years helps develop our muscles and upper body strength.

Every time we laugh, it activates many different areas of our brain because it takes a lot of work to be able to laugh, such as the motor cortex, the limbic system, and the frontal lobe. Moreover, laughter can actually help control our serotonin levels and is an actual antidote to stress.

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What Humor Is
What Humor Is

The three major approaches on what humor is and where it comes from:

  • The relief theory claims that laughter and humor are a way to discharge psychic energy.
Humor As A Life Skill
  • Reframing a negative event in an amusing light doesn't allow the negativity to trigger a depressive episode.
  • People who score highly in certain types of humor have better self-esteem, are more positive, have greater self-competency, more control over anxiety, and better performance in social situations.
  • Laughter can boost cardiovascular health and lower heart rates, blood pressure, and muscular tension.
Types Of Humor

Researchers described four types of humor:

  • Affiliative humor: this is the humor designed to enhance social bonds.
  • Self-enhancing humor: this is similar to having a humorous, playful view of life in general.
  • Aggressive humor: it happens when we are mocking others.
  • Self-defeating humor: this happens when we favor jokes that are self-deprecating.
The old Victorian picture style
The old Victorian picture style

If you have a look at Victorian pictures dating from the 19th century, you will soon enough realize that back then people did not really smile. The reason for this involves two elements:

    ...
The picture called 'A playful smile' (mid-1850s)

This picture is one of the earliest proofs that Victorians could also smile in photos.

The model is a young lady who poses typically for the period, however, letting a smile be seen on her face.

The 'Giggling gent' picture (c1889)

The picture shows a family who is captured a bit earlier than expected, fact that allows us to see everybody's natural laughter. This is what used to be known as 'Gigglemug' or 'habitually smiling face'.

Humor during a crisis

For ancient Greek philosophers, humor was something that had the potential to undermine authority and the good order.

Today, in democratic societies, those in power are mocked and their p...

The power of laughter
  • Humor, in a way, protects us from life's grim reality. We joke because if we didn't, we'd cry.
  • Humor and laughing are also a social vocalization that includes some and excludes others. Jokes establish who is inside the group and who is not. We laugh with people to belong, and at others to exclude.
  • In our current crises, humor is everywhere because fear is too. Laughter binds us together against a common enemy.
When to joke

Poking fun at the ills of the world is only funny if they are considered benign. No one is making memes about child abuse that may increase during periods of enforced domestic isolation.

Observations about people's behavior can be funny if they poke fun at a social norm in a relatively inoffensive way, such as hoarding toilet paper.