How many of you know what gelotology is, and what on earth it has to do with health or safety? Gelotology is the physiological study of laughter. If you will notice, there have been several articles published in magazines, newspapers, and on television describing health benefits from laughter. Laughter is the physiological response to humor.
Laughter is our coping mechanism; it gives us a reason to feel good. Thank goodness there are comedians whose job is to make us laugh. We can enjoy a good chuckle when something unexpected happens, sometimes at the expense of someone else, but if it is in good spirit, and not belittling anyone, it’s good for everyone.
We can get an over-all body workout: laughter exercises the diaphragm, abdomen, respiratory system, and facial, leg and back muscles. Have you ever laughed so hard you cried? Laughter reduces stress hormones; it acts as a safety valve that shuts off stress.
More facts about laughter:
- An adult laughs an average of 15 times a day. A child, however, laughs an average of 400 times a day.
- Clinical studies have shown that laughter strengthens the immune system.
- Humor allows a person to forget about pains such as aches, arthritis, etc.
- Frequent belly laughter empties your lungs of more air than it takes in, resulting in a cleansing effect, similar to deep breathing. This is especially beneficial for those who suffer from emphysema and other respiratory ailments.
- According to a survey done by Match.com, “70% of 16,000 adults polled believe they’re more likely to fall in love with someone who makes them laugh than someone who makes them think.” N.Y. Time Service, August 20, 2004
You never know how much you could touch someone by just making that person laugh. Sigmund Frued theorized that laughter releases tension and “psychic energy”. In the Universal Human Vocabulary, everyone speaks “laughter”!