Laughter has beneficial effects that we can differentiate on a physical and psychological level.
Laughter facilitates communication with other people, increases our social relationships, improves self-esteem and gives a feeling of relaxation that benefits our body. Laughter is located in the prefrontal area of the cerebral cortex, where creativity resides, the ability to think about the future. As we grow older, we gain in maturity but lose the spontaneity of letting ourselves be carried away by laughter, or even seeing the positive and comic side of things.
Regarding the physical benefits:
• It keeps us in shape since we work muscles that we do not normally use.
• We oxygenate our body better since between laughter we take in twice as much air as with normal breathing.
• Our body generates more antibodies, therefore it strengthens our immune system.
On a psychological level, laughter is an endorphin releaser, which causes substances that fight anxiety and depression to be generated.
What brain response does laughter elicit?
In the brain, laughter, says Serrano, “activates the hippocampus (memory center) and moves towards the amygdala (the center of emotions), setting in motion the area of the cortex -which is destined for the processes intellectuals- and from there to the area of the brain that activates the smile or laugh (nucleus acumen). This depends on the state of mind, personality or the absence of psychological disorders ”.
What is laughter therapy?
Laughter therapy is a way of learning to see things from the positive side to get the most out of life and work, as well as a simple way to improve health, through pleasant emotions.
More than 4000 years ago, in the Ancient Chinese Empire, there were temples where people met to laugh, to find a balance for health. In ancient tribal-type cultures, there was the figure of the "clown doctor", a wizard dressed and made up, who applied laughter therapies to cure sick warriors.
- The workshops are participatory, they try to get that laugh from the inner child of each one with games, dances, music, etc ...
- The general methodology of these workshops are:
- Stretching, through them the body is unlocked to release tension.
- Communication, to create a good atmosphere and complicity among the participants.
- Games, a way to go back to childhood.
It is a technique to provoke that laugh that we have since children, so that it flows from the heart and not from the head.