Laughter or a smile can make a big difference in your day. A healthy sense of humor acts as an emotional distraction and creates a fresh perspective on your circumstance. Watch a funny movie or TV show. Laughter also enhances your relationships by bringing you and the ones you love closer together. It’s much more fun to laugh with a friend than by yourself so share your funny moments with them. Having social support helps to increase your resilience to anxiety, so by laughing together with a friend, you are increasing the social bond.
But what is the science behind why laughing makes us feel so good? When we laugh, chemicals called endorphins are released in the brain. Endorphins have a “feel-good” effect which consequently leads us to have a higher resistance to pain (identified in a study conducted by Evolutionary Psychologist, Dr Robin Dunbar). So if this “feel-good” chemical increases our resistance to pain, then why can it not then increase our resistance to other negative feelings such as anxiety and stress? Why don’t you try it for yourself: Go and watch a stand-up comedy show or put on one of your favourite funny movies and feel the power of laughter.