Positive Effect Of Laughter On Human Relations

Introduction

A variety of studies has shown that laughter is an important way for people to express their feelings, their thoughts and their desires. Laughter has many applications to everyday life as people use it to achieve either consciously or unconsciously a variety of different goals. For example, with the act of laughter, people demonstrate their disposition towards a situation. Moreover, in some cases, people pretend to laugh in order to avoid awkward situations and feelings.

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Grey et al. state that the act of laughter can be traced back in ancient times when laughter was mostly connected to tickling (2015). Other types of laughter include joyful or taunting laughter, bray, giggle and guffaw. As laughter is used not only by the human species, its universality indicates its usefulness not only for people but for animals as well.

This essay will critically examine how laughter positively affects human relations. Moreover, in this paper we will explore how laugher plays a crucial part in improving relationships, reducing stress and leading one to have a healthier and optimistic life.

Laughter and humour as social skills

It is a well-known fact that human beings are the most sociable species in the world. People seek for company and acceptance as because of their nature, being lonely would be against their instincts. The field of Psychology has made great advances on the studying of human behaviour and mind as well as on the exploring the methods that people use to seek companionship and affection. One of the most notable and primitive ways to interact with others is considered to be laughter and smiling.

Generally, people try to avoid pain and situations that cause unpleasing feelings. For instance, we all have been in new situations and settings that require the use of our adaptive skills so as a result, in order to achieve feeling comfortable and relaxed in a new environment, people more than often use laughter as a way to avoid an awkward and challenging situation Laughter is a widely used tactic for handling such uncomfortable situations.

Furthermore, laughing and humour as acts bring people together. It is not uncommon that people who smile and laugh frequently, are described by others as more charming than others who are shyer or describe themselves as miserable. Research shows that people who laugh often are more likely to be described as attractive than people who smile or laugh less. As a result, people prefer to interact with individuals who smile and laugh frequently as they consider that the habit of laughing makes their interaction more interesting and exciting. As laughter is used as a method to bring people together, literature shows a strong link between smiling and better chances for social bonding. Moreover, laughter has been proven to generally increase social skills such as problem solving and the capacity to handle disagreements with others. In this way, individuals succeed in developing more truthful, intimate and stronger interpersonal relationships. Also, laughter is an indicator for more desire for sociability, communication and optimism in life. Lastly, a plethora of studies has shown that, individuals express different styles of humour depending on how they perceive the world and what they want to achieve by using it. Take for example, the use of laughter and humour as a way to reducing social anxiety.

The Health and Psychological Benefits of Humour and Laughter

The beneficial practice of laughter is not only relevant for social skills. As Lebowitz et al stated, people who suffer from mental illnesses benefit significantly from the use of laughter (2010). For example, chronic obstructive pulmonary patients, showed great improvement various aspects of their lives such as their well-being and psychical health.

However, positive outcomes from the practice of humour and laughter were also found for the general healthy population as well. Humour and laughter are thought to be helping in the reduction of stress and anxiety levels as well as to the overcoming of common problems in everyday life. Laughter is believed to be contributing in increasing the levels of happiness and confidence by making people capable of handling situations that at first might seem extremely hard. Finally, practicing laughter with the company of others, not only evokes positive emotions but also contributes to the relief of unpleasant feelings that are due to anxiety disorders. Psychological aspects of a personality that also function better because of laughing and smiling, are among other, self-focus and communication. Enormous benefits have been pinpointed for physical health, heart function and immunise system functions in already healthy adults too.

Laughter as a powerful tool for social bonding

As mentioned previously, laughter brings people together and makes relationships stronger and more intimate. By the act of laughing, people reach an emotional level of happiness and calm. This act also is proven to have a beneficial impact on the developing of social skills as well. There is scientific evidence that laughing is also contagious and a positive indicator for healthy interpersonal relationships.

When people face tense and challenging situations and doubt about their capability to manage such situations efficiently, laughter and humour act as sources of confidence and faith in one’s self. Things can get much easier, only because laughter releases the hormone of endorphin in our bodies, which is directly connected to emotions of happiness and positivity. It is easier to have a more truthful and show a deeper understanding of a conversation or an argument when people smile more in their lives, rather than having a hasty talk with someone. Engaging truly with others in a conversation is related to smiling truthfully.

Furthermore, it has to be admitted that people are not always aware that laughter inevitably brings them together and makes them feel more comfortable or sociable.

Sharing personal information can be quite difficult due to the fact that people are afraid to speak about their feelings and fears as they are afraid that they might get criticised for their opinions or their convictions.

Laughter, personal development and view of the world

There is scientific data that demonstrates that laughing welfares personal development and strengthens optimistic views of the self and the world. There is evidence that individuals who smile often are likely to care less about minor everyday problems as a result stress less, as well as be more spontaneous and more open minded. For instance, laughter enhances one’s confidence in speaking their inner thoughts and desires, so as a result, smiling improves one’s capacity to connect with others without being afraid of criticism and rejection. Moreover, one of the most important benefits of being able to laugh, is that it influences your manners and actions towards others. More specifically, there is a strong link between frequent use of smiling and forgiving easily. Besides the fact that, forgiving others is proved to release stress, forgetting others’ mistakes, makes a person more understanding towards others (Robinson et al 2017). Humour also is negatively related to overthinking and nervousness. Jaffe, stated that in hard times such as times of grief, smiling and humour result in alleviation of stress and make a situation seem less painful. More specifically, smiling and laughing during periods of sorrow and sadness, is linked not only to health benefits (release of endorphins) but also to change of perspective (2011). Also, studies have also demonstrated that smiling and laughing in moments of bereavement or looseness, should not be regarded as acts of embarrassment as smiling influences significantly one’s perception at the time. As a result, people who reacted to painful situations with laughter and braveness were reported to have lower levels of stress and a more optimistic view of the situation. The importance of laughter and humour has become evident through numerous studies. The act of laughter can help people overcome really hard situations and become stronger, more optimistic and open to improving their personalities.

Conclusion

Taking all of the above into consideration, laughing is not only important for the image and the attitude people want others to have of them but also for health and psychological reasons, for the developing of essential social skills and the endeavour for social bonding. This essay critically examined how laughter and humour positively affects human relationships and personal development. People from their birth till their demise need to communicate in as many ways as they can. They try to have connection with people and be plesant to others and one way to achieve that is by laughter and humour. As we mentioned prior, studies point out laughter can control stress, help one feel more sociable and have more composure. People tend to feel more confident with their appearance when they laugh and also find themselves more enjoyable. Laughter, overall, acts very positively in the psyche of an individual as laughing has been proved to even help one be surely more affable in a job interview and have more chances to be hired.

Bibliography

  1. Lebowitz, K. R. Sooyeon, S. , Diaz P. T. , Emery F. T. 2010. Effects of humor and laughter on psychological functioning, quality of life, health status, and pulmonary functioning among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A preliminary investigation. Quality of Life Concerns of Patients with Cardiac and Pulmonary Disorders. , Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
  2. Robinson L. Smith M. , Segal J. 2017. Laughter is the Best Medicine The Health Benefits of Humor and Laughter. Trusted guide to mental, emotional & social health. Published by HelpGuide. org
  3. Whipple C. Calvert S. 2008. The Connection between Laughter, Humor, and Good Health. Published University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension.
  4. Jaffe E. , 2011, retrieved from: https://www. psychologicalscience. org/observer/the-psychological-study-of-smiling
  5. Gray A, Parkinson B. , Robin I. Dunbar E. 2015 Laughter’s Influence on the Intimacy of Self-Disclosure.
31 October 2020

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