Laughter is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. In addition to the domino effect of joy, laughter creates healthy physical changes. Different people find humor in different things.
Laughter is a powerful cure for stress, pain, and problems. A simple laugh can decrease stress hormones and boost your immune system. It triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Laughter also increases blood flow, which protects you against cardiovascular problems. Humor strengthens our relationships by triggering positive feelings. When we laugh with one another, a positive bond is created. This bond acts as a strong buffer against stress. A good, hearty laugh relieves tension, leaving your muscles relaxed. Humor helps you keep a positive outlook. Even in the most difficult of times, a simple laugh can go a long way.
We are born with the capacity to laugh, which is an unconscious behavioral response. Dr. Josef Parvizi, a Stanford University neurologist says, “All laughter is unconscious. You do not choose to laugh like the way you choose to speak.” Philosopher John Morreall believes that the first human laughter begun as a g¬esture of shared relief at the passing of danger. Researchers believe laughter makes and strengthens human connections. “Laughter occurs when people are comfortable with one another, when they feel free and open. The more laughter, the more bonding within the group,” says cultural anthropologist Mahadev Apte. This “loop” of bonding-laughter-more bonding, combined with the desire not to be singled out, is why laughter is contagious. Studies found dominant individuals, such as a boss, use humor more than their subordinates. Controlling the laughter of a group becomes a way of exercising power by controlling the emotions of the group. Laughter in this way is used to...
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