Our body is all the time giving us clues as to what is okay and what is not. We must pay attention to the signs that some parts give us. It is possible, for example, to know if a person is sick and even what they have when we look deep into their eyes. Eye color, depth, and pupil dilation can reveal everything we want to know. Our hands can do this too, when they are wrinkled or dry.
But in addition to physical signs, we can see that our health is or is not in good condition through our mood . Surely everyone has heard the saying that laughing is the best medicine. But does she have any real background?
The mood has an important function, which is to facilitate social relations. Also because it is the first step towards bringing people together and also responsible for establishing trust between them in a group.
However, neuroscience has shown that mood is more directly related to a person’s mental and physical health. An example of this is that the Instituto do Cérebro de Brasília has been studying the impact of laughter and good humor on health. The point they have focused on is to answer: if stress can suppress immunity, can positive feelings strengthen it?
Normally, neuroscientists agree that human emotions are the most diverse and that whatever emotion is important, it matters. These emotional experiences are important to create and consolidate the neural networks that help people to better cope with difficult situations.
Just as laughter is contagious, we also see that one person’s bad mood can be contagious to another. And can mood also influence pain? It is certain that constant pain will affect a person’s mood and may even make them depressed.
Looking at the discoveries made by psychology and neuroscience, it is possible to see that everything a person thinks and feels affects their life experiences. Thus, while pain influences someone’s emotional state, humor can help that person relieve it.
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another,” said psychologist and philosopher William James. And in the study called “Does laughter have a stress-dampening effect in daily life?”, published in 2020, the authors argued that when a person laughs, physiological changes take place that can be positive for well-being.
The study also says that “individuals are better able to withstand painful stimuli when watching videos with humorous content.” Which shows that laughing is a way to face day-to-day diversities.
As much as there is scientific controversy about this, the evidence is growing that a lack of a sense of humor can worsen health , immunity, the cardiovascular system and the perception of pain. Even because, if the sensation of pain comes from the brain and it is there that humor also acts, it is to be thought that the body will also benefit from a good mood.
Furthermore, there are indications that after a good session of laughter, the person relaxes the muscle groups and there is a decrease in spinal cord excitability. These are things that interfere with the perception of pain.
“Through humor we see what seems rational, the irrational; in what seems important, the insignificant. It also awakens our sense of survival and preserves our mental health,” said Charlin Chaplin. What precisely evokes the idea, supported by neuroscience, that mood and pain perception are related.