Have you ever noticed that your day can completely change for the better when someone smiles at you? How about the mood boost that comes from a moment of laughter with others? It is difficult to feel negative when you are surrounded by laughter. Laughter has been said to be contagious. Is this a coincidence or are we designed that way?
Scientists have been studying laughter all the way back since the time of Aristotle. Current research indicates that laughter is an evolutionary tool that bonds social groups together. Through connection, social groups excel and progress. But what produces that “feel good” feeling that we get with laughter?
The act of laughing, the movement of the muscles that produce laughter, stimulates endorphins in the brain. These are the chemicals that increase our pain tolerance and help create that “feel good” feeling. This is physiology 101. When we have more endorphins, our perception of pain is altered and our perception of life is altered for the better. Scientists have more to learn about the brain, but they proven that endorphins are powerful in changing our mood and our performance.
So next time you are having a tough day, find a way to laugh. Your brain and your body will thank you.