Even though the first day of spring may have just passed, real spring may take a while to set in. The first few weeks of spring always seem to drag by. There are the warm days teasing what’s ahead followed by cold days chasing us back inside. Don’t sit and wait for the sun to chase off those leftover winter blues. Instead, we’d like to propose a fun (and science backed!) way to boost your mood.
The Power of Laughter
James Joyce said, “In risu veritas” or, for those of us who aren’t experts in Latin: “in laughter, there is truth.” That’s an idea we believe in pretty deeply at Apple Pie Painting, but we want to make sure you do too. In case taking our word for it isn’t quite enough, let’s run through some of the science that backs up our belief. We promise this won’t get too technical. 😉
Endorphins are natural painkillers and joy-bringers. Laughter releases endorphins and because of this it is known to reduce anxiety and stress while boosting your mood. While we are not suggesting (and never would) you give up any doctor recommended medications for depression, there is research that has linked laughter with some of the same benefits as antidepressants; namely increased levels of serotonin. This makes a case of the giggles an ideal way to handle short term lowered mood, like winter or seasonal blues.
A hearty belly laugh has been linked with more health benefits than what we’ve talked about here; for a more detailed breakdown we recommend this awesome article from How Stuff Works.
Harness the Power
Research also shows that laughter and humor are both some of the best ways to create and deepen connections with the people around you. Robert Provine (a neurobiologist who is an expert on laughter) has found that we laugh about 30 times more often in social settings than we do alone. If that isn’t motivation to get your friends involved, we don’t know what is! Laughter is social. If laughing as an individual is good for you, then laughing with others compounds the effects. Laughing boosts your mood and your social connections. Then, strong social connections further amplify the good mood! So, in order to really make the most of that laughter, we recommend doing things with your friends, family, or people you want to get to know better.
Looking for some ways to get guffawing? Here are a couple of ideas:
- laughter yoga (it may feel weird at first, but once you get started it’s lots of fun)
- play with your pet
- go see a live comedy show
- watch a funny movie
and if you just need a quick fix and are looking to chuckle stat, here’s a cute and funny picture:
As the saying goes “laughter is contagious” and now that you know about all the good it can do, go share it with your loved ones!
–Apple Pie Painting