Comedy on the Brain
By Sara Butler
It’s no secret that a good laugh can do wonders to help you feel better or to make the world a bit of a brighter place when times get tough. But did you know that there’s actual science behind the positive ways in which comedy impacts you and your brain? Here’s a rundown of how comedy, and the laughter that goes along with it, impacts your mind and your body!
Comedy Does a Body Good
If you’re feeling anxious or distressed, a good laugh is going to help you through releasing something called beta-endorphins. These are the family of chemicals that help to lessen depression. Laughter also helps to release human growth hormones, and those help to give your immune system the support it needs to stay healthy.
Research has also shown that just the act of laughing helps to increase the flexibility of your blood vessels, and this helps your blood to flow more efficiently. So go ahead – yuck it up for your health!
Comedy is Good for Your Mental Health
Comedy helps you to feel less stressed and can also help you to gain perspective on a situation. If you’ve had a good laugh before you have to go to face something difficult, then it can help you deal with that difficult event in a healthier way. That’s why, when you’re stressed and facing difficult times, a good friend that can tell a joke to make you laugh is indispensable. Just try to steer clear of self-deprecating humor – that’s not going to put you in the state of mind you need to be successful.
When Something Wrong Feels so Right
When people perceive humor they quite often experience both amusement and disgust at the same time. A great example is a joke that has to do with less desirable bodily functions. Sometimes things seem funnier when they’re unsettling, feel wrong or are threatening but still seem safe. That’s why you found it so funny when you were young when the coyote was trying to catch the Roadrunner but kept getting caught up in his own traps.
The point of all of this is that laughter is good for you, no matter what it is that is making you laugh. You should try to not to make a joke at your own expense, but often laughing is a great release that stimulates your brain – so do it as often and as much as you can. You know, for your health!