How many times have you heard the saying, ‘Laughter is the best medicine’? Most likely, many times, and with good reason. Research and studies show that laughter is an important part of our life. It has several health benefits for our mind and body. In fact, humor has positive effects on our brain, including making it easier for us to remember things.
Humor prompts the brain to release dopamine, the feel-good hormone, which regulates various memory systems in the brain. When the brain’s dopamine reward system is activated, it can stimulate goal-oriented motivation and long-term memory. This psychological phenomenon helps to improve our ability to retain information.
Stress Can Have Negative Effects on the Brain
When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol, a hormone that is part of your body’s built-in alarm system. Too much cortisol can lead to damage in the hippocampus, which consolidates short-term memory. In the long run, it can negatively impact learning and memory, especially for older people. As we age, it then becomes more challenging to learn and recall information.
Studies have shown the humor can help people cope better with stress. People who laugh with friends or watch comedy shows produce less cortisol. When you are less stressed, the better your memory is. This is because less production of stress hormones can lower your blood pressure and improve your mood.
When you are feeling good, there is an increase in endorphins in your body, which then sends dopamine to your brain to make you feel a sense of reward or pleasure. That feeling makes your immune system stronger and changes your brain waves into gamma frequency that improves memory and recall.
The Energizing Effects of Humor
In the workplace, humor can help employees persevere in completing difficult tasks and increase their effectiveness. Humor can improve the stressful nature of work and boost employees’ morale, which can help them become more productive.
It can counteract the effects of mental depletion and help replenish mental resources to make a person persist longer on doing arduous tasks. Humor is energizing for employees.
Humor Benefits on Improved Learning
Humor also has powerful effects in a classroom environment, including improved learning outcomes. Humor and laughter are contagious, which naturally creates a sense of community among students. When they can laugh together and share a joke, they lower their defenses, and they are drawn towards each other.
Humor and laughter can help improve children’s retention as they activate their sense of wonder. When that happens, learning begins. We tend to remember what makes us laugh, and educational research has shown that humor can be used as an effective tool to help students improve their data retention.
When students are presented with information in a fun way, it becomes more interesting and appealing to them, and more memorable. It makes the learning process more enjoyable.
Generally, humor enhances memory, whether trying to remember verbal information or visual information. People tend to pay more attention to humorous information, so it is highly likely that it will be remembered. Our brain also prefers humorous information when it comes to storing data in our memory.
Another effect of laughter and humor is the mitigation of negative emotions. When we are exposed to a humorous situation, there is a significant cognitive demand on our working memory. We became focused on the humor and forgot about the negative emotions.
In conclusion, laughter and humor can help improve our memory and overall well-being. They draw attention to information, making the learning process more interesting, appealing, and enjoyable.
At work, humor can help employees become productive, persistent, and efficient. In a classroom environment, it is important to use positive and right types of humor depending on the age of the learners and the context.
Humor and laughter are particularly helpful for older people who are having difficulties in learning and recalling information.
Humor helps us become less stressed, which improves our mood that can affect our ability to remember things. It helps us mitigate negative emotions and provides energizing effects.
Overall, laughter and humor can improve our quality of life. Don’t forget to laugh and be happy!