This week, I decided to explore the theme of humor.
We all know that warm, fuzzy feeling we get after a good laugh. I've always clung to the belief that laughter can be contagious. According to an article and study conducted in Psychology Today, laughter just might be the most contagious of all emotional experiences that it can quickly spread through a crowd. It is a full-on collaboration between mind and body with numerous health benefits like releasing tension, lowering anxiety, boosting the immune system and aiding circulation. It signals social interest, induces positive effect in people which facilitates their capacity to learn new things, and enables humans to connect socially with each other in groups (groups are important for human survival and across evolutionary time, groups got larger and socially more complex). Additionally, it helps people bond and even negotiate.
In a 2012 study, scientists have come up with a plausible biological mechanism on how laughter can produce positive social effects.
These are called endorphins.
Endorphins are a group of hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system and having a number of physiological functions. They are peptides that activate the body's opiate receptors, causing an analgesic effect. They are naturally produced in response to pain, but their production can also be triggered by various human activities. In the conducted study mentioned above, scientists found that pain tolerance only increased after watching or participating in comedy. There is also some recent evidence that not only suggests laughter does release endorphin levels in the brain but reduces medication on patients when exposed to humor and comedy.
The study is still ongoing, but the point is we find evidence that laughter is indeed a good medicine. Especially at a time like this, where frankly it's just too humorous to look at the news concerning Donald Trump. Mr. Trump recently posted a series of tweets claiming Obama had his "wires tapped", all the while misspelling the word "tap".
I'm sorry--well not sorry. It's just more fun to laugh at Trump's physical capabilities of knowing things at all, than to not. It at least helps and gives hope in humanity. John Oliver recently said, “We are now at a point where the president is so busy hurling destabilizing conspiracy theories around, we can’t even pause to enjoy the fact he misspelled the word tap,” he said.
Now granted, the investigation is still ongoing and it's not clear what's really going on, but I mean come on!
You're gonna have, as I like to quote Bill Maher's favorite phrase, whinny little bitch here complain about his wires getting tapped and confiscation of his Twitter account, when even though in early December, Obama ordered the intelligence community to conduct a full assessment of the Russian campaign.
Yes, in the weeks before the assessment was released in January, the intelligence community combed through databases for an array of communications and other information — some of which was months old by then — and began producing reports that showed there were contacts during the campaign between Trump associates and Russian officials. The New York Times, citing four current and former officials, reported last month that the American authorities had obtained information of repeated contacts between Mr. Trump’s associates and senior Russian intelligence officials. The White House has dismissed the story as false.
There is no doubt we are at a critical moment in our nation's history, where we have a "man" undermining our nation's key values and threatening all that we have worked for, but I think we can all agree we need something to laugh at for the dark days ahead. Aside from contacting local officials, participating in marches for justice and having our voices heard, we need humor now more than ever to reassure some humanity in looking at subjects that are seemingly inappropriate. Laughing is healing. By ridiculing those who go low you take away their power. If you don't talk about these things, they stay in the dark and become dangerous. Better to seek humor than to remain in the darkest dark. On that note, instead of opting to sink to the new low that a Trump administration offers, I simply laugh in the face of danger. If you're looking for humor, take a look at this example, The Last Laugh.