CHAPTER 9 DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1) State & explain the 5 main physiological benefits of humor & laughter. 2) State & explain the 4 main psychological benefits of humor & laughter. 3) State & explain the 3 main social & interpersonal benefits of humor & laughter.
PHYSIOLOGICAL (PHYSICAL) BENEFITS (P. 243) 1) Tension Reduction -Muscles tense due to stress -Muscles tense due to laughter, but relax after 2) Stimulation Of The Sympathetic Nervous System -Responsible for control of sweat glands, blood vessels, eyes, heart, bronchi, kidneys, bladder….. -Frequent stimulation of system increases function and enables body to more effectively handle physical stress -Laughter results in release of hormones: epinephrine (adrenaline) & norepinephrine (attention & focus)
3) Increased Respiratory Activity -Diaphragm (main muscle of respiration between chest & abdomen) is needed to laugh -Contracts & expands massaging other surrounding organs (lungs & stomach) -During laughter, heart rate and blood pressure increase -After laughter, heart rate and blood pressure fall below normal level -Allows body to enter state of relaxation 4) Stimulation Of The Circulatory System -Laughter referred to as “internal jogging” -Increased heart rate and cardiac output 5) Pain Reduction -Physical pain can increase physical & emotional stress -Stress can induce physical pain (headaches, backaches) -Hypothesis: release of endorphins by brain during laughter results in pain reduction -Hypothesis: person’s attention diverted away from pain during laughter
PSYCHOLOGICAL (MENTAL) BENEFITS (P. 245) 1) Sudden shift in cognitive perspective -Distancing oneself from stressors provides opportunity to look at problem objectively and identify possible resolutions 2) Reducing negative emotions (anxiety, anger, depression) -Humor allows people to have an increased functioning level during stressful situations -Used excessively could become a form of denial 3) Creating & maintaining a positive attitude -Being able to see humor in a given situation reduces feelings of helplessness -Affirms that individual, not situation/emotion, is in control of his/her life 4) Feelings of well-being & euphoria - Laughter stimulates the release of arousal hormones -Hormones influence mind & body resulting in a feeling of euphoria (happiness, confidence)
SOCIAL & INTERPERSONAL BENEFITS (P. 247) 1) Acts as an ice breaker and helps establish communication -Laughter is an indicator of attitude similarities -Attitude similarities affect attraction among strangers -Acts as a social lubricant 2) Helps maintain relationships -Helps people handle relationship stressors -Helps get over not harp on petty differences -Minimizes conflict and friction 3) Facilitates communication of sensitive issues -Eases confrontational situations -Distances people from problem and allows maintenance of a proper perspective -Deflects anger so situation can be more readily resolved