Laughter is something that has always fascinated me. From the first time I became fascinated with the human condition, there has been the question of why humans have particular traits, from awe and wonder to fear to even the feeling of a change in the weather.
Laughter has been a nagging question about how and why it exists. Importantly, however, is what it does in the human mind.
You have probably noticed that I love puns, sarcasm, bad dad jokes, and simply making other people laugh. I wouldn't necessarily say that I have a forte for jokes. Often enough, I am the only one laughing. However, I try to find at least one thing that makes me laugh every day, and there are many reasons for this. However, the main reason is that it makes me feel good.
Laughter has benefits for the body, including relaxation, a boost to the immune system, to a trigger for the release of endorphins. In addition, the protection of the heart, burning calories, diffusion of stress, and according to some studies, laughter helps you live longer.
These reasons are just a shortlist that I have found on a webpage called helpguide.org
The amount of research that one could do on this subject is staggering. You could focus on Psychology, Physiology, Biology, and Neurology. The short version is that human beings are very good at being stressed. When the body or mind is in distress, it can constantly be in flight or fight mode. It is hard to fight hundreds of years of evolution, and it is almost impossible, except when we are not stressed out.
The human body has been designed a lot like a circuit board, but instead of wires that carry electricity, the human body produces hormones and neurotransmitters that affect our mood. So, in a way, I like the study of laughter and happiness because what one is studying is a way to hack the circuit board that Is the human body. The hypothalamus and pituitary gland are the brain's specific structures that release these endorphins. The neurochemical affects our mood and makes us feel good.
When considering the chemical cascade that affects the perception of things, one can easily be lost down the rabbit hole of studying the study of laughter and happiness. However, the human body is already designed in such a way that it can rebuild itself. This rebuilding, this self-healing in a very colloquial sense, is called cellular regeneration. In effect, I believe that we can trick the human body into doing it more effectively and more focused.
However, it will take longer to recover if the human body is under significant strain and stress elsewhere. Therefore, I consider laughter a powerful tool; Dr. Nathanael Adams has devoted his life to making people laugh and studying medicine that backs up his studies.
According to healthline.com, the article "Why do we need endorphins," written by Katy Davidson and reviewed by Alana Biggers. "Laughing releases endorphins and other feel-good hormones (e.g., dopamine and serotonin) and suppresses stress hormones (e.g., cortisol) to improve mood, reduce pain and stress, lower blood pressure, and support a stronger immune system."
Neurons in the brain release dopamine, which carries signals between other neurons. One of the big takeaways from "Networks of the human brain" by author Olaf Sporns is how vital creating new networks beyond existing networks is for forming new thoughts, learning new things, plain living, and even re-learning new things. This ability to create a new network in the existing network is brain plasticity, but it is another field of science called Network Science.
All of this is fascinating to consider because it provides a perspective on behavior and learning. This perspective is essential because when one thinks about it is the human condition to continue learning no matter how much we may fight it. When you stop to think about how your mind is the cradle of vulnerability and resilience, each of us carries weakness and inner resolve. If we are willing to do something as simple as introducing a new routine into our every day, maybe our perception of the world can improve.
Maybe the world could be a better place because a lot of one's perception of the world begins with yourself first. Therefore, I recommend this action to find something to laugh at every day.