Updated: Feb 28, 2019
1. They’re Natural Painkillers Bro
Laughing releases endorphins. Endorphins make you feel good! Endorphins dance with receptors in your brain that trigger happy feelings in your body and bring about morphine-like effects. Endorphins are endogenous opioid peptides produced in the central nervous system that not only function as neurotransmitters but also play a crucial role in the management of pain. Laughter causes an enhanced intake of oxygen-rich air and stimulates circulation which reduces stress hormone levels and lowers blood pressure- all because of a good giggle!
2. Belly Laughs Make You Sexy
In addition to bringing out that beautiful smile of yours (a guaranteed thirst trap), laughing increases muscle flexion. That’s right. Flexion. Laughing exercises several muscles in the body, including your diaphragm, abdomen, back, shoulders, and face. While laughing, the muscles in your stomach expand and contract in the same way they do when you’re getting swoll at the gym. It’s like tricking your body into doing crunches. Putting belly laughs into your workout routine is a surefire way to get your beach body to match that “great personality” your mom’s always talking about.
3. Sweet, Sweet Release
When we get a nice deep belly laugh our lungs are emptied in repeated bursts. This has been proven to have positive effects on the respiratory system in a similar fashion to power-breathing yoga. This stimulation allows for a following release of muscles that spreads feelings of calm and well-being throughout the body. In this process your pain threshold is strengthened both physically and mentally so that you face the day with a greater arsenal to power through whatever life may throw your merry little way.
4. Perspective Baby
Problem + Distance = Humor. We typically find laughter in mistakes and confusion, it reminds us that no one is perfect and no one has to be. Belly laughs allow us to become comfortable with flaws and shift our view of the world so that we can cope with even the biggest “oh no’s”. We, the people, made this world and though there are a great many things that are out of our locus of control, it’s up to us to choose to maybe take life not so seriously and in this empowerment to shake up our perspective we may find far fewer frowns.
5. Friendship and Magic
Laughter is shared! When you experience laughter with another person or a group of people, the group dynamic improves due to positive social bonding. As a highly social species, we inherently know that camaraderie strengthens us both individually and as a collective and so we seek more experiences with these people with whom we shared the good vibes. It’s like when the monkeys would groom each other and pick lil bugs out of each other’s back hair and eat them but from a little distance and so much less gross, but it fosters the same closeness that’s been an oh so important aspect of the intelligent evolution of people-folk. Further our species today and laugh with a friend; laugh with a stranger and make them a friend. Delouse from a distance and make yoself some frands.
So that's it. The five big reasons why belly laughs are an important part of my daily regimen. I can always count on the Las Vegas Improv community to come in clutch with the goods. ComedySportz Las Vegas is chock full of the most lovely people I know and, maybe it’s the giggles talking, but it’s an honor getting to jam with them every Wednesday at our pro roster practices (no, sorry, you can’t come). If you’d like to party with us, we have classes starting up soon, an awesome Rec League, and OF COURSE there’s always the match you can catch every Sunday at The Space, courtesy of some of the swankiest people in Vegas.
I’ve been doing improv since 2005 and #lovingit. This is a magical time to be doing improv, especially improv in Vegas and I just love being a part of it. I can’t recommend putting more “yes” into your life and improv does just that. Everything that makes you good at improv makes you good at life and it’s not a coincidence. More on that subject in a future blog. Get excited.
Three final words of wisdom from me before signing off: play every day.
- Written by Jasmine Kojouri
Editor's note: Jasmine rocks...and you actually can come to our Pro Roster Practices IF...you work hard, eat your Wheaties and dazzle us at our next auditions, which are slated for June 2019. To earn dazzle points before then, sign up for classes, rec league and come play with us at our matches.