When you think about something that made you laugh you automatically smile. The good feelings associated with laughter are the endorphins released when you let yourself go and just throw back you head and laugh until it hurts. Laughter is a source of health and well-being. It can soothe tension and release stress.
A study by the Robin Dunbar, an evolutionary psychologist at Oxford, found that laughter shared among a group of people is far more beneficial than previously thought. Laughing can have a lasting effect on our health as well: it can improve our immune system and help to relieve pain. The endorphins act as natural painkillers and the more we laugh, the less we feel pain.
Social laughter, as Dr. Dunbar refers to it, is contagious in a group. Shared laughter instills a sense of well-being throughout the group. If you’ve ever been around a group that started laughing it’s hard not to be caught up in the wave of it. “The causal sequence is laughter triggers endorphin activation,” he said. Robert R. Provine, a neuroscientist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and the author of “Laughter: A Scientific Investigation,” said he thought the study was “a significant contribution” to a field of study that dates back 2,000 years or so. Dr. Provine added that “laughter is a social glue that draws group members into the fold.”
Bringing it all together
How do we bring that concept into our families? One way is to use mealtime as the epicenter of family fun. Have everyone bring their funniest stories of the day to the dinner table for the family to enjoy them. If any member of the family suffers with pain this is a sure way to help boost their immune system and get those endorphins pumping. Whether your family is a unit of 2 or 12, everyone can bring a bit of laughter to mealtime.
Want to test out your feelings after laughing? Just watch this video and see if you don’t feel a little bit better. Don’t hold in your laughter. Let it out and enjoy the good feelings endorphins bring.
Share this with a friend or repost it. Spread the laughter around!