smiggle – Defining Anything
smiling and giggling at the same time.
when i see someone do something stupid, i smiggle.
a flirty smile with a wiggle by a female
intended to get a man’s attention.
look at all these babes up in the club
a happy expression when a smile and a giggle come together.
my daddy made me smiggle when he got me a new teddy bear.
a cigarette. commonly used when inebriated.
hey, b-m me a smiggle.
a word that dirty pirate hookers use in reference to some kind of cuddling act. it is only used by the most obscenely skeezy b-tches around, and beyond the comprehension of normal, decent people.
come over here and give me a smiggle.
when you smack someone with both hands at once, one on each side of the face, in a smothering motion. is a huge insult to someone as it makes them look like an idiot, especially if they lose their breath and gasp.
dude! did you see charlie bucket smiggle w-lly wonka!? that was nuts!
kilo: man i’d rather look like a turtle then have the name smiggles haha
smiley: n-gg- f-ck you! mann. thats not my name.
- Jeri curl
not cornrow style hair. it was used by african americans, such as michael jackson, in the 80’s and looked like small curls that were completely doused in hair gel when your taking a poo and it curls up and pokes you in the leg i was had such a large poo it jericurl’d on me! […]
- Jesus Kill
usually in an fps game where the player gets an insane kill out of skill or pure luck guy 1: dude i was playing halo the other day and got a sick kill when one of my bullets bounced off a rock and hit someone guy 2: dude! thats a jesus kill if i ever […]
- jet pants
the act of not wearing any pants at all! ah! look at jerry and his jet pants!!!!
a jewish man who is exceptionally skilled at picking up girls. g-dd-mn did you see schlomo’s girlfriend, he’s such a jewgalo.
a jewish, white as white can be person who pretends to be black, as his tiny p-n-s size scares him jewish > n-gg- jewish > wigga jewigga white jew ashley: i’m soo black bruv, i’m 100% n-gg-. any sane person with eyes: jewigga please!. a white jew boy who thinks he’s gangsta like a n-gg-r […]
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How Smiggle went from a rejected idea to a global powerhouse
How Smiggle created a love for stationery around the world
From colourful and quirky pencils and highlighters, to fashion-forward backpacks and lunchboxes, Smiggle has successfully captured the imagination of kids and tweens all around the world. Whilst children are drawn to the unique designs and bright colours, parents are drawn to the ability of the products to inspire kids to learn and create.
Speaking to Ross Greenwood on the Origins Australia podcast series, co-founder of Smiggle Peter Pausewang explains how this specialised children’s stationary brand achieved international success. https://omny.fm/shows/origins-australia/origins-australia-smiggle/embed?style=cover
Finding a gap in the market between education and fun
Having three children of his own, Pausewang soon found a gap in the market for specialised lifestyle stationery and gifts for kids.
In 1998, Peter took his concept to a few retail groups who all turned it down. Evidently, Smiggle was far from an “overnight success story”, facing many challenges in the start-up phase of the business. In fact, Pausewang says it took two years to build the range and brand to meet the consumer demand and achieve the right formula. This was the quintessential turning point, as what followed was a strong retail concept capturing an untapped niche, which saw enormous expansion in a relatively short time.
The concept sounds relatively simple in theory; good design, great stationary, affordable and uniquely different to anything on the market. To this day, Peter credits this ‘concept’ as the reason for the success of the business, “it was a mixture of working very smart and having the right business in the right place at the right time and experimenting to get that concept absolutely spot on”.
While businesses were preparing for the digital age with new devices, Smiggle marched to the beat of its own drum; investing in kid’s pencils, lunchboxes and colouring books. It quickly became the alternative to screen time, and uniquely something the whole family could get on board with.
Global appetite for quirky, fashion-forward stationery
Becoming a massive hit with children and parents alike saw it propelled into the New Zealand market, marking its first overseas store. Singapore, the UK, Malaysia and Hong Kong followed shortly after.
Stationery soon became a must-have item and slowly but surely, Smiggle was leading the way both on a local and global playing field. The product mix was cleverly built around colour blocks, encouraging children to build a collection of any one product, which helped drive multiple sales of the same item. The core range was primarily stationery, but it soon diversified beyond the classroom to include accessories like water bottles and watches.
Whilst the stores covered a small footprint, the purposely chosen location in high foot-traffic areas and the weekly release of new, distinctly unique products helped build Smiggle into an irresistible brand.
As people slowly turn to online retail, Smiggle continues to regard their brick-and-mortar stores as a fundamental component to the success of its business. Smiles and giggles, the very concept behind the “Smiggle” brand and encapsulating fun and quirkiness, “can only be appreciated once you walk into one of their stores and see it bursting with brightly coloured products”.
Tips from Peter Pausewang on building a successful brand
- Be prepared to tweak your idea and don’t go into it thinking your first idea is going to be perfect. Be ready for that period of revising, reinventing and finetuning your initial approach
- Stay true to your values and to your brand
- Give yourself two years to test and experiment your concept properly
- Stay absolutely in-tune with your customer: Have a very clear idea of who your customers are and what they want. Then communicate this very clearly and consistently at every touch point
There are many reasons why Smiggle became a favourite amongst parents and children alike. Yet, there are two key points of difference that helped the business garner international recognition. Firstly, it was a consistency in both the brand and design. Secondly, the brand was entirely replicable in other countries, something which few other Australian retailers have been able to match and something which Smiggle are still reaping in the success from today.
IMPORTANT: The contents of this blog do not constitute financial advice and are provided for general information purposes only without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any particular person. UKForex Limited (trading as “OFX”) and its affiliates make no recommendation as to the merits of any financial strategy or product referred to in the blog. OFX makes no warranty, express or implied, concerning the suitability, completeness, quality or exactness of the information and models provided in this blog.
Stationery chain Smiggle: ‘In some stores kids come in with a £50 note’ | Retail industry
“I was in Smiggle and my mum said ‘I wish there were some chairs’ but other than that Smiggle is amazing,” is the professional assessment of the eight-year-old budding retail analyst Bridie O’Brien.
Her father, Patrick, a retail expert at the GlobalData consultancy, had called on his daughter’s expertise as the London schoolgirl is exactly the target customer of the Australian chain that has taken the UK by storm over the last four years.
While many other UK retailers are feeling the squeeze and shutting shops, Smiggle’s British sales nearly doubled to £56m last year and its profits surged from £3.3m to £10.8m, according to accounts filed this month.
The retailer, best-known for its fluorescent notebooks and sweet-smelling pencils and rubbers, has pursued an aggressive store-opening plan since arriving on British shores in 2014. Earlier this month, Smiggle (where a smile meets a giggle) made its debut on Oxford Street in London with a two-storey tween temple twice the size of its other stores.
I think anything that entices children to want to go to school is a good thingJohn Cheston
“We try and be a wholesome alternative to the dreaded screen,” explains John Cheston, the retailer’s Melbourne-based managing director, who is in the UK for the high-profile store opening. “We get a lot of goodwill out of that.”
Smiggle is after children’s pocket money with its sights trained on the stationery needs, scented or otherwise, of children aged five to 14. It’s a bigger market opportunity than you’d think, with Sheffield-born Cheston revealing that some children turn up at his shops in affluent Surrey with a crisp £50 note to spend.
“It’s not unusual for kids to have pocket money of £20, £30, £40 a week,” he says. “We have some stores where kids get £50 a week and come in with a £50 note.”
“One of the greatest things about our brand is that it transcends all demographics,” says the 51-year-old, who describes himself as a “northern kid who came from nothing”.
“There’s the little girl who is at a private prep school, has got a horse and her parents are doing really well, and she loves Smiggle,” says Cheston. “At the other end there’s kids from broken homes, who see their parent every few weeks, and when asked what do you want to do? will say: ‘I’d like to go to McDonald’s for a happy meal, see the latest Pixar animated film and go to Smiggle’.”
Cheston, who started his career with a traineeship at Marks & Spencer, has masterminded the stationery brand’s assault on the cutthroat UK market. In doing so he has put to shame the efforts of his countrymen from Wesfarmers who have crashed and burned and had to write off £500m following their disastrous £340m acquisition of Homebase.
Smiggle is one of several brands owned by Just Group, a subsidiary of Premier Investments, run by retail billionaire Solomon Lew. It is the only brand that Just Group has exported to the UK and its success comes at a time when many homegrown retailers, from Mothercare to New Look, Carpetright and House of Fraser are struggling.
Cheston, who regularly clocks up 30,000 steps a day patrolling shopping centres and competitors’ stores, says: “We did a massive amount of reconnaissance before we committed to coming here.”
Cheston reckoned it would get sales of $A200m (£111m) within five years, a plan expected to involve 200 store openings. It remains on track to hit that sales target, but with 130 stores in the bag and another dozen in the pipeline it may slow the pace of openings after being surprised by the success of its website. “Online blew us away because kids don’t have credit cards right?” says Cheston.
The problems faced by other retailers mean there is downward pressure on retail rents. “If we wanted to get to 200 stores the deals in Grimsby or Wolverhampton would be a lot more compelling than a year ago, because of people shuttering stores,” he explains. “But if you are a brand that wants prime sites it’s harder. I don’t want to be the last man with the lights on when everyone else is walking away.”
Despite her passion for Smiggle, Bridie O’Brien is not without criticism of the brand. In particular, she has an issue with some of the prices – £18 for pencil cases and £33 for a backpack, for example. “I think that they could bring the prices down,” she wrote.
The frenzy around the brand in the early days, which Cheston likens to Beatlemania, has also been blamed for playground squabbles, with some teachers complaining its expensive novelty gear is distracting, leading to classroom bans – including at Bridie’s school.
Cheston is undeterred: “I think anything that entices children to want to go to school is a good thing. There is a bigger issue with kids with mobile phones.
“If the biggest problem in the world today is a scented pencil case and a pencil that changes colour then the world’s gone mad.”
Smiggle – the Aussie brand that is laughing while other retailers scratch their heads. – Truly Deeply
Doomsayers continue to claim retail is suffering its worst conditions for decades. But in the unlikely market of stationery – where traditional newsagents have been disappearing across the country – one retailer is booming.
Smiggle is a great example of a brand that has reset its category. Driven by a strong vision, clearly defined brand proposition, distinct identity and deep connection with its audience, Smiggle is a standout brand.
Born in 2003, in Melbourne, Smiggle has grown from their first store in South Yarra to more than 100 stores across Australia, 23 in New Zealand and 13 in Singapore. The Just Group acquired the company in 2007 and it is now the hero brand within their challenging portfolio.
With many retailers struggling in the current climate, Smiggle has reinvigorated a category and achieved impressive growth of 20.3% in FY11. The company is still on massive growth trajectory with plans to add at least 30 stores in Australia and New Zealand and another 10 in Singapore in the next few years. Further Asian expansion is also imminent.
Positioned as “a colourful fashion forward stationery brand” for tweens, Smiggle has captured the imagination of kids across the country, is endorsed by parents and is the driver of trends in and out of the classroom.
While there are other stationery shops, Smiggle is differentiated by design. It creates a unique lifestyle and blurs the line between education and fun. Kids are drawn to the bright colours, squirky products and clever design, while parents are sucked in by the appeal of products that inspire their kids to create and learn.
Smiggle really ‘gets’ their audience and is focussed on keeping them loyal and engaged. This is a brand that understands that while product is important, it is a lifestyle that they are selling. Smiggle proudly claim in their communications, that they are “where a smile meets a giggle… the world’s greatest place”.
Ask your kids why they love it so much and they will probably tell much the same as mine do.
The bright colours, appealing shapes, clever design and of course the need to collect the whole set, is definitely part of the appeal. But the real brand achievement comes from the amazing way Smiggle has managed to achieve classroom cred and drive the need to keep up with Jones’.
While the brand was originally aimed at teenage girls, my 9-year-old son and his friends are all riding the Smiggle wave too.
“Everyone at school has Smiggle stuff. We all compete to see who has the biggest collection,” says my son.
While the products are irresistible to kids from 3 to 13 (and kids at heart of all ages), the well-crafted brandworld is where they excel. The brand is activated across a content rich website, blog, social media including Twitter, Youtube and a facebook page with more than 300,000 fans.
The smiggle brand is also infused into Colour Crews, their rewards and loyalty programme with competitions, apps, skins, wallpaper and games.
The Smiggle stores are like a magnet for kids but also unsuspecting parents. Stationery is the hero, with everything you need (and don’t really need but love) all beautifully displayed by colour.
Smiggle clearly understand the importance of employee brand engagement. The store experience is carefully crafted with young ‘Smigglers’ who are not just friendly and service-oriented they are true brand champions.
Unlike other stores where kids are told don’t touch, Smiggle staff naturally interact with the kids, encouraging them to touch and play with the products. They also cleverly upsell the kids, and their parents; “and there is a matching pen, eraser and case to go with that too” eager Smigglers chirp.
Smiggle proudly say that “with friendly staff, a fun environment and plenty of products to play with, we think that a visit to our stores is just like a hug from your best friend” – and they deliver this.
Like all great brands, the success comes from encouraging us to happily part with our hard earned cash. After several checkout shocks I think most parents have wised up to Smiggle not really being a cheap treat – but that doesn’t seem to stop us ending up in one of their store, every time we go shopping. Like most parents, we just read the kids the riot act before entering a Smiggle store, specifying time and price limits.
Another audience who are now being suckered in is the Grandparents. My parents had their first Smiggle experience while looking after the kids last week. Thinking they were buying the kids just a few pencils and a pencil case, they were quite surprised to have to shell out $70. Mum later told me that she noticed that most of the people in the store seemed to be grandparents who were all making the same mistake!
For Smiggle, this success didn’t happen overnight. Like many great business ideas, Smiggle required bold visionary thinking, with a passion to succeed and there were plenty naysayers in the early days.
Smiggle founders, Stephen Meurs, Peter Pausewang explained to Dynamic Business “People said to us in the early days; oh stationery, Office Works are doing that so well.”
But they stuck to their vision with a focus on creating an identity for their audience.
“We infiltrated the schools and very quickly, it became a fashion item; like young girls wear different earrings, they were then buying a lovely notebook and a matching calculator, the matching pen, some pencils, a pencil case, so when they were going to school they were saying ‘look at me’. In essence, that’s been Smiggle from day one—we do bright colours, we change the designs, we have key products we keep as our base product, but more and more the design is growing, it’s developing.” Says Meurs and Pausewang.
With so many retail brands struggling and disappearing, it is inspiring to see an Australian brand that is thriving and expanding. It is also testament to what can be achieved by challenging conventional category thinking.
If you have a challenger mind-set and want some help to create a bold new brand proposition and identity that will reset or create a new category, we’d love to hear from you.
Director of Brand Strategy
smiggle meaning and definition
smigglemean? Here you find
Smiling and giggling at the same time.
a flirty smile with a wiggle by a female intended to get a man’s attention.
A happy expression when a smile and a giggle come together.
A cigarette. Commonly used when inebriated.
A word that dirty pirate hookers use in reference to some kind of cuddling act. It is only used by the most obscenely skeezy bitches around, and beyond the comprehension of normal, decent people.
When you smack someone with both hands at once, one on each side of the face, in a smothering motion. Is a huge insult to someone as it makes them look like an idiot, especially if they lose their breath and gasp.
The Act Of Smiley & Giggles Coming Together In One Name. Joined, They Are Smiggles. Also, When You Fornicate Someone, You Are SMIGGLING! haha
Smiggle Bum meaning
A characteristic tightness and or plumpness which a woman’s (or man’s) bum displays upon observation. This particular type of bum will instantly imprint an image of a tight, lubricated and hot bum in the viewers mind upon observation.
A combination of the word “smoke” and “cigarette” used as an alternative for both or either.
Smig-uh l-tee – adj 1. An altered state of consciousness.noun 2. somewhere/someone/something that makes you happy
smiggly is a word me and a buddie came up with while we were in school so when we were about to go to lunch we could not get suspended for havin a cig, another meaning for a ciggaret
smiggly poof meaning
Something that is frothy in nature. If a girl, has a large badunka dunk and shags like a minx. If a boy, has no ass but can shag nine times is a row.
Smiggle – The Student Blogger
One of my favourite things is stationery. That might be sad but who cares. Stationery is one of those things that I could never have enough of as a student. You can imagine my excitement when Smiggle, an Australian stationery brand asked if I would like to be sent some products before they actually launch in the UK. Fun fact, Smiggle is a mixture of smile and giggle!
When I opened my package I was so shocked by how much stationary I had been sent. My stationary addiction has once again been fed! I was kindly sent a pencil case, pens, pencils, a ruler, an awesome calculator, amazing Black headphones and a few other bits and bobs.
One thing I can tell you for definite is that Smiggle is a fun and exciting brand without being exceptionally childish. I would say that Smiggle sell products for everyone which are not always age or gender specific. I think the gel pens and highlighter stick which I was sent are a desk essential. I am constantly making lists or writing down things to remember and after trying the gel pens out I can confirm they are fantastic. I have also already used the highlighters to annotate some English work and they are amazing, they don’t go right through to the other side of the paper like some highlighters do. I think the gel pens would make an excellent gift or part gift as they are in such lovely packaging and stay attached to the box when they are opened which is a pretty rare thing, normally pens fall all over the place the second you open them.
Can I just point out how cool the calculator/ruler and the lollipop rubber are. I actually thought the rubber was a lollipop, its that realistic! The pencil case has 8 zips which I think looks really effective and I really like the ombred effect of it. Most of the items I was sent come in so many colour varieties so there is definitely something for everyone.
Please excuse the embarrassingly awful writing
In Australia Smiggle are an affordable, quirky stationery brand and although I’m not sure what the prices will be like here I am almost certain that they will be cheaper than the likes of Paperchase, which I love but sometimes the prices can be a bit steep especially for their non patterned items.
The first Smiggle store opened in UK on the 20th February in Westfield Stratford with stores in Reading, Brighton and Kingston shortly following. If you want any more information about Smiggle check out their website here. There UK online shop will be launching on the 20th this month. After looking online I have seen that Smiggle do some amazing storage items which I am definitely going to snap up when the online shop launches.
If you are planning on going to the opening of Smiggle in Stratford let me know!
Australian stationery king Smiggle is conquering the world
If you’re, like me, of a certain age, you’ll remember preparing for school at the beginning of each year. As well as making sure the uniform still fit (or buying some new duds), Mum and Dad would make sure I had all of the writing materials I needed for the new year.
Notebooks, brown paper, plastic or ‘contact’ for covering the books, a lunchbox and backpack for all of the above were assembled in a corner of the kitchen or bedroom, and methodically ticked off. And then, my favourite part – a trip to the newsagent, Big W or suburban stationery supplier to grab pencils, a pencil case, a ruler, a compass and protractor, and whatever else I could con Mum and Dad into buying for me.
Smiggle is one of Premier’s most successful retail brands. Credit:Adam McLean
The newsagent had a decent but simple range, so the best part was going to the big stationery shop. A seemingly endless array of lead pencils, coloured pencils, geometry sets, pens, textas, notebooks and foolscap (yes, I’m that old) paper.
It wasn’t fashionable, cheap or trendy, but it was big and exciting. I can still remember my favourite pencil case – a white zip-up job with two diagonal stripes (one red and one blue) in the bottom corner. That was then.
The competition regulator has flagged concern the price of traditional office products such as stationery, notebooks and paper could rise if global private equity giant Platinum Equity’s acquisition of OfficeMax goes ahead.
Today, stationery is a fashion item – at least for school kids. And it’s big business. If you have a ‘tween’ in your life (a child aged somewhere between, say, seven and 13), you’ve heard of Smiggle. If you’re the parent of said tween, you’ve probably spent more at Smiggle than you did on your last holiday.
Stationery has become a fashion item; picking brightly coloured and character-adorned items to stake out their place in the world which forms a key part of their school (and home) persona.
And Smiggle is leading the charge. It’s owned by ASX-listed Premier Investments (ASX: PMV), the retail group that includes Just Jeans, Jay Jays and Peter Alexander, among others. Its chairman and largest shareholder is rag trade legend Solomon Lew, and the company’s retail operations are run by ex-DJs boss Mark McInnes.
Not only has Smiggle taken Australia by storm – going from 79 stores in July 2011 to more than 130 today – but is expecting to have 70 open in the UK by the end of the current financial year. That’s almost as many as it had in Australia and NZ alone five years ago. And impressively, 18 of its top 30 stores are now in the UK. It’s also been busy during that time building a successful beachhead in Asia.90,000 Why do we need laughter? Philosophers and scientists answer
Laughter is one of the most mysterious phenomena of human behavior. And not only human. It can accompany almost any emotion: joy, fun, surprise, nervousness, sadness, fear, shame, hatred, ridicule and gloating. There are intellectual jokes that almost no one understands, but there are those that are understandable to everyone, regardless of culture.
Scientists still cannot fully explain the nature of laughter. And yet, to paraphrase Mayakovsky, one can say: “If people laugh, then it’s necessary for something.”We invite you to work with us to find out what philosophers and scientists of different times thought about laughter and humor.
Laughter as a weapon
The earliest extant theory of humor, dating back to ancient Greek philosophers, states that people laugh at themselves and others because it gives them a sense of superiority. The main character of the comedies of Antiquity is a man who has fallen into a difficult situation and is not able to overcome it. Watching his suffering, the public feels pity and pleasure at the same time: yes, he feels bad, but I feel good! Especially against his background.
Many centuries later, Thomas Hobbes expressed a similar idea, but in the spirit of modern philosophy. According to her, the original state of humanity was the war of all against all. Then came society (and later the state), which curbed the aggressive tendencies of individuals with the help of laws. But the desire for superiority has not gone anywhere. According to Hobbes, humor just allows you to rise above others without struggle – through ridicule.
In the 19th century, Friedrich Nietzsche will also talk about superiority, but in a different way – in a socially critical way.For him, laughter is a tool in the fight against obsolete morals. Morality, faith, customs were based on the suppression of the individual. To become truly free, a person must throw off the shackles of imposed values. And Nietzsche sees the most successful means for this in a joke, in laughter. What is funny no longer has power and cannot subdue.
On this topic
The modern philosopher Slavoj ižek develops this idea in his own way when he analyzes the film “Joker” by Todd Phillips. The main character wants to make people laugh, but internally suffers from their misunderstanding and neglect.His smile is forced and even painful. When he realizes that his world is entirely built on absurdity and lies, he puts on the mask of a jester already consciously. “I have nothing to lose,” he says, speaking on the air of a popular show. “Nothing can harm me. My life is just a comedy.”
In the image of the Joker, the idea of Nietzschean laughter – rebellious, nihilistic, destructive – is brought to the point of absurdity. His jokes are no longer dangerous because they shake the foundations. They literally bring death and destruction.However, as in ancient Greek comedies, the consequences here do not go beyond the artistic reality of the Joker himself. But we can understand his feelings. And in something and sympathize.
Laughter as a salvation from the absurd
The theory of superiority takes into account only evil laughter – satire, irony, sarcasm. It doesn’t explain why we are amused by situations where no one is hurt and no one is considered a failure. For example, according to legend, the ancient Greek philosopher Chrysippus once treated his donkey with wine, and then died of laughter, watching him try to eat figs.Of course, the example itself is not fun. But he shows well another mechanism of the birth of the funny – from inconsistency.
The funny is born from what we would now call a template break. When the head of state suddenly starts conducting an orchestra, it’s funny. When a bulldog’s head peeps out of a suit with a bow tie, it’s funny. The absurdity is ridiculous because it deceives expectations. The modern British scientist Richard Wiseman analyzed ten thousand jokes and anecdotes and concluded that humor in all of them is based on a mismatch of expectations and actions.For example, the hero wants to be smarter, but makes a fool of himself; spouses live together but hate each other; the almighty god makes a stupid mistake.© Alexey Durasov / TASS
According to the explanations of modern psychologists, through laughter, the tension of the mind is resolved – cognitive dissonance. If something in the world around us contradicts our expectations, we feel uncomfortable (often without realizing it). Our mind instinctively seeks to get rid of contradiction – for example, through negation and silence.It is no coincidence that many anecdotes and memes “go through” topics that are embarrassing to discuss: violence and innocence (“a little boy found a machine gun”), principles and real actions (“I am ready to spit in the face of anyone who calls me uncivilized”), sacred and everyday (see memes of the “Suffering Middle Ages”).
Laughter allows us to “secure” the collision of contradictions in our head: we admit that the situation is absurd, but we do not fight it, but accept it in its entirety. British thinker Arthur Koestler aptly called this method the channel of least resistance.Perhaps this is the key to why people with a developed intellect often have a good sense of humor. Humor saves us from naivety and gullibility, allows us to penetrate deeper into the essence of things.
Laughter as a fuse
Remember the scene from The Irony of Fate, where the sobering Lukashin is overtaken by the realization of his position: “So, Galechka is now in Moscow, and I’m on the floor in Leningrad”? He invited the bride to his place to celebrate the New Year, and he himself ended up in another city, in a strange apartment.We physically feel what is going on in the head of the hero at this moment. He freezes for a few moments, and then … squeezes out two short, nervous chuckles.
And here is how Arthur Conan Doyle (by the way, a certified physician) described the meeting of Dr. Watson with one of Holmes’s clients: as a physician, his laughter was not pleasant. <...> He was possessed by one of those hysterical fits that occur in strong natures when the experiences are already over. “It is worth clarifying here: they just tried to kill the client.
Why do people sometimes laugh in the most seemingly inappropriate circumstances? When is the right time to cry, huddle in a corner and tremble? This is where physiology comes in. In the 19th century, the English philosopher and naturalist Herbert Spencer considered laughter in this way – as a physiological reaction of the body to nervous tension and overexcitation. He considered joy and fear to be related emotions. Only the result of the first is laughter, and the second is trembling.In other words, a person, laughing, is freed from the emotional burden.© Alexey Durasov / TASS
Later this “theory of detente” was adopted by the father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud. In his book “Wit and its relationship to the unconscious,” he wrote that in the form of a joke, thoughts are expressed that are usually suppressed by the superego (in psychoanalysis, the superego is understood as the moral attitudes instilled in a person by society). Accordingly, laughter is the result of the release of accumulated psychic energy. With the help of a joke, a person deceives his inner censor, forbidding him to openly express negative emotions: annoyance, resentment and anger.
Interestingly, contemporary empirical (observational) research has found a link between a sense of humor and psychological resilience. When a person often resorts to humor in difficult situations, they are less likely to experience depression, anxiety, and feelings of helplessness. Many supporters of the theory of natural selection believe that a sense of humor has survived through evolution precisely as a useful mechanism that ensures survival and mobilization of resources in a dangerous situation.
Laughter as a way to gain popularity
On this topic
Speaking of selection.Surely you have noticed more than once how a person with a sense of humor attracts others, becomes the soul of the company. This observation is supported by research. Psychologists at Simon Fraser University conducted an experiment with 100 students who were supposed to participate in “quick dates.” According to the rules of the experiment, it was necessary to form an impression of a partner in just a few minutes of communication. It turned out that the participants’ jokes made them more attractive in the eyes of others.
In 2005, biologists David Sloan Wilson and Matthew Gervais proposed their explanation for the evolutionary benefits of laughter and humor.In their opinion, in generations, first of all, those forms of behavior are fixed that contribute to the survival of a group, and not just a specific individual. And laughter turned out to be important precisely as a behavior that promoted cohesion and cooperation within the community. But at the same time, and as a way to gain popularity (and therefore leave offspring).
Wilson and Gervais talk about two different types of laughter. The first – spontaneous, emotional, impulsive and involuntary – is a genuine expression of fun and joy.It manifests itself in a child’s smile, play, tickling and is called Duchenne’s laugh, in honor of the scientist Guillaume-Benjamin-Aman Duchenne, who first described it in the middle of the 19th century. Somewhere between four and two million years ago, Duchenne’s laughter became a kind of social glue, a means of emotional closeness between group members during periods of safety and satiety.© Alexey Durasov / TASS
In some of the most developed animals, Duchenne’s laughter not only took root, but also developed.For example, dolphins have special sounds that they make only during playful fights, but never during real aggression. This is already a step towards a real sense of humor, which defines another type of laughter – non-Duchenne. With its help, highly developed animals test the boundaries of the permissible and assert their status. Perhaps this is the key to the popularity of wits: we subconsciously associate their behavior with status.
However, it is not at all necessary to assume that laughter boils down to any one function.Every joke has a share of any of them. Some people make parenting memes to challenge social demands – and at the same time deal with their anxiety. And someone makes fun of the absurd actions of the powerful in order to challenge them – and to cause admiration among supporters for their courage.
Anton Soldatov90,000 Laughing for no reason is a sign …? Why we laugh out of place
- David Robson
- BBC Future
Photo author, Thinkstock
We often notice that we laughed at the most seemingly inappropriate moment for this.As psychologists have found out, such an awkward laugh is perhaps one of the most basic and important manifestations of human behavior, says correspondent BBC Future .
My conversation with Sophie Scott was already drawing to a close when she turned to her computer and showed me a video of a half-naked man jumping a “bomb” into a frozen pool. After playing with muscles and showing off in front of the camera, he decides to jump – but hits the ice and flies head over heels on its smooth surface.The ice survived, but our hero’s friends almost burst with laughter.
“They started laughing as soon as they saw that there was no blood and broken limbs, – says Scott. – They literally rolled on the floor in hysterics and could not help it.” (If you want to watch the video in question, it can be found here. Just keep in mind: there is profanity.)
Why do we so uncontrollably want to laugh, even if the person is in pain? And why is it so contagious? Sophie Scott, a neuroscientist at University College London, has been trying to find answers to these questions for the past few years.She explains to me why laughter is one of the most important human reactions and why it is so often misinterpreted.
In one of the experiments, Scott scanned the brain of professional parodist Duncan Whisby to understand how he manages to adopt the subtle features of the speech of other people. To her surprise, Sophie Scott found that brain activity appeared to have recruited areas commonly associated with bodily movement and visualization – Wizby literally penetrated his character’s skin.In general, her research into the work of parodists helped her determine which areas of the brain are responsible, for example, for accents and articulation, important aspects of our speech personality.
But it was only after research in Namibia that Sophie Scott realized that laughter is one of the most important manifestations of our voice. Previous research has shown that people from a wide variety of cultures can recognize six universal emotions – fear, anger, surprise, disgust, sadness, joy – based on facial expressions.However, Scott wanted to find out if we could express less obvious information with our voice. She asked the indigenous people of Namibia and the British to listen to each other’s tapes and determine what emotions were presented. Among them are not only the six generally accepted universals, but also relief, triumph, and satisfaction.
Representatives of both groups identified laughter most easily. “It was immediately clear that he was different from other positive emotions,” says the neuroscientist.
Photo author, ThinkstockPhoto caption,
Laughter as a social emotion brings us together
The longer the study went on, the more interesting its results were.So, Scott soon found out that humor is not the main reason for our laughter. “People are sincerely sure that most often they laugh in response to the jokes of others, but during a conversation, the one who is speaking at that moment laughs the most,” she says.
Sophie Scott defines laughter as a social emotion that brings us together and helps us to bond, whether we’re really funny or not. “When you laugh with other people, you show them that you like them, that you agree with them, or that you belong to the same group,” she says.“Laughter is an indicator of the closeness of a relationship.” : he has a great sense of humor which makes him extremely attractive to me. What I really mean is that he attracts me and when we are around I show it to him with laughter, “explains Scott.
Fun seems to be the most important way to maintain a relationship.According to Sophie Scott, studies have shown that laughing in a couple allows its members to relieve stress more quickly after difficult events, and in general, such a couple’s life together usually lasts longer.
According to other recent studies, people who laugh together at funny videos are more likely to share personal information with each other, thus deepening mutual understanding.
Author of the photo, ThinkstockCaption to the photo,
Why are we so willing to laugh at people who find themselves in an uncomfortable situation?
Even the hectic fun caused by an unsuccessful fall into a frozen pool could serve as a unifying factor for the long-suffering diver’s friends.”It’s curious that his buddies start laughing literally at the same moment – I think this way they help him feel better,” – says Scott.
Robin Dunbar from the University of Oxford came to similar conclusions: according to his findings, laughter correlates with an increase in pain threshold. It may be due to the increased production of endorphins – these chemical compounds also strengthen social bonds.
Now Sophie Scott is trying to figure out the difference between the fake laughter that we use to spice up a conversation, and the irrepressible laughter that can ruin television or radio broadcasts.
In particular, she found that “nasal” laughter is less sincere, and we “tear our stomach with laughter” without any participation of the nose.
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) helped Scott understand how the brain responds to the above types of laughter. They both seem to stimulate mirror neurons – these areas of the brain are responsible for imitating the actions of another person. For example, they are triggered when a person sees someone else kicking a ball – or does it himself.Perhaps it is this neural mimicry that makes laughter so contagious.
“The likelihood of a person laughing in the presence of another person increases 30 times,” says the researcher. how the other person feels) and trying to understand the motives of others – we are probably thus thinking about the reasons for insincere laughter.
Photo author, ThinkstockPhoto caption,
What type of laugh is this? Delano-social or sincere?
It may seem to you that the difference between involuntary and made laughter is easy to understand, but Scott believes that this skill develops in a person gradually: we best begin to recognize the nature of someone else’s laughter closer to 40 years.
Recently, Sophie Scott organized an experiment at the Science Museum in London, in which her colleagues ask visitors of all ages to watch several videos of people laughing and crying and appreciate the sincerity of the characters.As the neuroscientist notes, crying is the infant’s primary mode of communication, and the importance of laughter grows as the child grows older.
While we may not like the feigned laughter of some people, Scott thinks this fact says more about ourselves and how we respond to their social cues than how unpleasant these people really are.
A researcher tells me about a friend who always annoyed her with persistent sibilant laughter: “I always thought that she was laughing completely out of place.When I analyzed what was happening, I realized: the whole point is that I do not react to her laughter. The laughter itself was absolutely appropriate. “If she had not experienced initial dislike for that woman, Scott believes, she would have laughed heartily and would not even have paid attention to her intonation.
Photo author, ThinkstockPhoto caption,
Laughter can be a powerful tool of self-expression
Sophie Scott’s curiosity made her not only explore the strength of relationships between people, but also go to comedy clubs.”When a pop comedian talks to the audience from the stage, there is still interaction,” she says. There is a kind of dialogue between the comedian and the audience. “I wonder how the audience starts laughing and how laughter gradually fades away, whether there is synchronization with the people around it or it doesn’t matter – because the interaction takes place directly between you and the person on the stage,” says the researcher.
Ironically, Scott notes, comic actors often find it easier to work with large halls.Perhaps this is because infectious laughter is spreading in waves over a large audience. Scott cites the example of a recording of how comedian Sean Locke brings the audience to a laughing hysteria, simply repeating the word “cummerbund” from time to time.
The neuroscientist tried to establish how the laughter wave starts in the audience by attaching sensors to its participants. The effectiveness of this method turned out to be low: the audience felt constrained. However, she hopes to continue the exploration with the help of famous comedians like Rob Delaney – perhaps they can manage to cope with the tension in the audience.
Sometimes Sophie Scott herself performs at London comedy nights. I ask if the results of her research contributed to the formation of her stage image? Scott doesn’t think science helped her develop the comic gift. However, the next day I went to see her charity performance and found out that it was really very funny.
Scott’s more prim colleagues seem to disapprove of her “frivolous” approach. But the researcher realizes how powerful laughter can be for self-expression and how effective it can be to get people to listen to themselves.”Laughter seems superficial, ephemeral, meaningless,” she explains. “But it is never neutral and it certainly means something.”
LAUGHTER is … What is LAUGHTER?LAUGHTER is a cultural and psychological phenomenon that expresses a person’s ability to detect comic situations contained in life and art. It is a fusion of emotional and rational moments, in which the analytical work of the mind takes on the form of a special joyful emotion, expressing a specific satisfaction with the resolution of a contradiction that seemed insoluble at first glance.Laughter is dual. However, both of its forms – lower and higher, come from the same root, while maintaining the unity of external mimic expression: this is “vital laughter”, or “laughter of the body,” expressing the joy and enthusiasm of a healthy, growing and enjoying body, and – “ laughter of the mind ”, that is, properly human or“ comic ”laughter. One of the boundaries separating both forms of laughter is their orientation within the framework of culture and the emotional-value organization of the individual. Crying is the antithesis of vital laughter, shame is the antithesis of comic laughter.In this respect, laughter and shame form a semantic pair that finds itself at the intersection of the sin of the basic coordinates of the human attitude: intellect, sensuality and morality. Historically, both forms coexist in the culture and daily life of people. Mixing with each other, they form the sphere of the so-called “laughter culture” (M. Bakhtin), which is a much dashing whole, each time correlated with specific types of cultures and individual psychology. Among the historically “fixed” types, there are laughter “homeric” (pagan, totally uncontrollable), “sardonic” (initially – ritual-murderous, then – evil, destructive), “cynical” or “cynical” (revealing-bottom • leading) , “Sarcastic” (caustic), “ironic” (substituting for the essence, suggesting something different from what is said), “Rabelaisian” (riotous, life-affirming), “Easter”, “Christmastide”, etc.In accordance with the degree of aggressiveness and aesthetic detachment present in laughter, the system of laughter genres can also be described. Laughter has always attracted the attention of philosophical thought. Since the time of Aristotle, it has been regarded as an essential human trait. Aristotle wrote about the human ability to speak (think) and laugh. In Notker, a medieval theological writer, all three elements converge in a single definition: “Homo est animal rationale, mortale, risus capax” (“Man is a rational being, mortal, capable of laughing”).The duality of laughter, with the unity of its expression, contained a powerful dialectical contradiction that required its own interpretation. The starting point here was most often the apparent or perceived discrepancy between the positive character of laughter, as an emotion, and the “measure” z. ‘; A (Aristotle), which is contained in the thing being ridiculed. According to I. Kant, laughter is an affect resulting from the transformation of some intense expectation into nothing. A. Schopenhauer considered laughter as a result of the discovery of a discrepancy between our idea of the world and its actual state.F. Nietzsche considered laughter as a force capable of giving a person freedom. A. Bergson saw “automatism” or inertia as a source of laughter, which a person sees in various moments of life. According to 3. Freud, the sense of the funny arises as a result of overcoming those barriers (internal “censors”) that culture has erected in the psyche of the individual. Laughing, a person expresses pleasure in the quick release of internal tension, which was generated by the pressure of psychic energy and the barriers that held it back. The ethologist K.Lorenz. He believes that laughter is associated with aggression and is a human version of the so-called “ritual greetings” – forms of behavior that soften the initial natural aggressiveness (previously a similar point of view was expressed by L. Noiret). A. Koestler considers laughter as a product of “bisociation”, that is, a collision of two oppositely directed psycho-rational intentions. In the 20th century. the theme of laughter has also become the subject of philosophical reflections by G.K. Chesterton, I. Huizinga, H. Plessner, M. Eastman, M. Grotzhan, J. Bataille, J.Deleuze, W. Eco and others. In recent years, laughter has become the subject of broad interdisciplinary research, among which are the cognitive approach of M. Minsky, the semantic theory of laughter by V. Raskin, the architectonic concept of V. Fry, the analysis of the internal mechanism of humor by P. Derks, ethnolinguistic studies laughter and humor by K. Davis and others. In Russia, laughter became the subject of analysis by M. Bakhtin (the concept of “carnival” and “ambivalent” laughter), O. Freidenberg (cosmogonic meaning and metaphors of laughter), V.Proppa (ritual laughter in folklore and the general concept of the comic), S. Averintsev, D. Likhachev (antique and Russian laughter), and others. Currently, two large international scientific societies are studying laughter. In France – Association française pour le développement des Recherches sur le Comique, le Rire et l’Humour (Association for the Study of Comic, Laughter and Humor). In the USA – International Society for Humor Studies (International Society for the Study of Humor). Both organizations hold annual congresses and colloquia, publishing their research results in the journals Humoresque (Paris) and Humor (N.Υ — Berlin). Β Paris, on the basis of the Paris-MP University, regular issues of “Research Notebooks” (Cahiers de Recherche) are also published, devoted to the study of various aspects of laughter and humor. Cit .: Kant ff. Criticism of the ability to judge. – Collected. op. in 6 volumes, v. 5; Schopenhauer A. Peace as will and representation. – Sobr. op. in 4 volumes M1900-1904, v. 1; Bergson A. Laughter. – In the book: French philosophy and aesthetics of the XX century. M., 1995; FreudZ. Wit and its relation to the unconscious M., 1925; Bakhtin M. A. Creativity of Francois Rabelais and the folk culture of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.M., 1990; Freidenberg O. M. Poetics of plot and genre. M., 1997; Propp V. Ya. Ritual laughter in folklore (Regarding the tale of the princess Nesmeyan). – He. Folklore and reality. M., 1976; Averintsev S.S. Poetics of early Byzantine literature. M., 9) 7; Likhachev D. WITH; Panchenko A. M., Ponyrko I. V. Laughter in Ancient Russia. L., 1984; Gurevich A. J. Problems of medieval folk culture. M., 1981; Karasev L. B, Philosophy of Laughter. M-, 1996; Reinach S • Le rire rituel. – Idem. Cultes, muthes et religions, vol. 4. P., 1908; Noire L. Ursprung der Sprache. Mainz, 1877; Eastmen M. Enjoiment of Laughter. N. Y. 1936; PlessiwH. Lachen und Wienen. Bern, 1950; KoestlerA. The Act of Creation. N. Y 1964; Grotjahn M. Beyond Laugher. Humor and Subconscious. N. Y 1966; LorentC. On Agression. N. Y 1966; Raskin V. Semantic Mechanism of Humor. Dordrecht, 1985; Fry W. Humor and Chaos.— “Humor. International Journal of Humor Research “, 1992, vol. 5-3; Davies S. Ethnic Humor Around the World: A Comparative Analysis. Bloomington, 1990.
L. V. Karasev
LAUGHTER is … What is LAUGHTER?
LAUGHTER – a cultural and psychological phenomenon as a specific evaluative human reaction to reality. The phenomenon of S. is ambivalent: on the one hand, S. is formal (primitive, prasmech) – S. as the joy and enthusiasm of a healthy, growing and enjoying organism, S. of the body and, on the other hand, S. as a way of expressing one’s attitude to reality , S. soul, S. mind. In the first case, S. is a gift of nature. It has no evaluation, no relationship.This prehuman S. as an expression of the joy of being, subjective physiological jubilation, gaiety – “the pinnacle of perfect health” (Schopenhauer). In the second case, S. is evaluative, reflective, purely human, and also paradoxical. The paradox is that S. is most often an inadequate emotional reaction to actions or events: we laugh at something that is not funny in itself. The essence of S. is associated with a bifurcation, a split of reality in two, the creation of its laughing shadow. S. reveals something else in one thing: in the high – the low, in the solemn – everyday, in the hopeful – disappointing, etc.Here S. is not just a pleasant, joyful feeling, but a paradoxical comic reflection. The object of laughter reflection is, as a rule, something negative, worthy of condemnation and denial, some kind of evil (is it a real threat, all sorts of absurdities, inconsistencies, deformations of the familiar, norms, or game performances of what is listed in a theatrical, circus and other similar action). This tradition of understanding S. in philosophy was laid down by Aristotle. A laughing reaction to evil demonstrates that evil is surmountable and harmless.S. destroys evil, fear, violence, reverence. But a person’s assessment in the form of laughter does not force the world to change. S. itself does not destroy anything, but opposes all, in principle, conceivable types of destruction, creating a world of meanings free from conventions. Among other functions of S. – protective (in the psychotherapeutic sense), relieving psychological trauma, tension, calming, making life easier; mediatorial: S. is a communication tool that breaks boundaries between people, helps to get closer. Range C.very wide: from soft humor and a kind smile to caustic sarcasm and evil irony. S. uncontrollable, free. In Bakhtin, the world of humor is opposed to totalitarian seriousness. S. is a breath of freedom in a totalitarian society. Many philosophers addressed the topic of S.: Bergson, Freud, Lorenz, Heizinga, G.K. Chesterton et al.
The latest philosophical dictionary. – Minsk: Book House. A. A. Gritsanov. 1999.
How laughter can help strengthen the immune system
Today, on April Fool’s Day, we want to remind you of the numerous studies of scientists showing that a good mood, the ability to treat with humor even a difficult situation supports the body in the fight against viruses and other ailments.
Proponents of the healing effects of laughter and humor go back to the Bible (“a cheerful heart does good as medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” [Proverbs 17:22]) To date, various healing properties of laughter have been confirmed by studies that have shown that increases the amount of oxygen consumed by the body, strengthens the functioning of the heart, lungs and muscles.It also helps to stimulate blood circulation and at the same time relax the muscles.Even 10 minutes of laughter can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of getting plaque from cholesterol. In addition, laughter stimulates the brain to release more endorphins, neurotransmitters that not only make you happier, but also reduce the feeling of pain. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts your mood, reduces pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. Nothing works faster and more reliably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a hilarious laugh. Humor instills hope, brings people closer, and helps release anger faster.Laughter can even prolong life. A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlive those who don’t laugh so much. This difference was especially noticeable for those battling cancer.
In Recipe Laughter, William B. Strean notes, “Let’s start thinking that, along with eating vegetables and getting enough sleep, laughter is a smart recipe as a great way to promote health.”
Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between laughter and the lymphatic and immune systems.
The lymphatic system is a highly effective cleansing conglomerate that is the foundation of the immune system. What does laughter have to do with the lymphatic system? The answer is very simple. When you laugh, the diaphragm becomes a powerful pump for your lymphatic circulation, just as your heart serves as the central pump for moving blood through the vessels. It helps the lymphatic vessels carry this fluid through your body and helps the lymph nodes to cleanse and filter this fluid, removing waste products, dead cells, and unwanted microorganisms.Increased lymphatic flow = increased, improved immune system only due to the simple nature of more lymph passing through the nodes, thus producing more lymphocytes, antibodies, etc.
By engaging the diaphragm in any type of deep breathing (including laughter), the parasympathetic nervous system is immediately activated. The parasympathetic nervous system signals all systems of the body to slow down, thus producing “feel good” hormones (endorphins) that signal stress hormones to cool it down.Once this signal is received, the blood pressure drops, the heart rate slows down, and an overall glow of “happiness in the moment” replaces anxiety / stress — the perfect “domino effect”.
For example, watching a one-hour comedy video was found to yield:
- Increased number and activation of T cells.
- Increased number of helper T cells (cells attacked by the AIDS virus).
- Elevated helper / suppressor T cell ratio.
- Increased number and activity of natural killer (NK) cells.
- Elevated levels of interferon gamma.
- Increased number of β-cells.
Here are some quotes from famous doctors:
- “The simple truth is that happy people don’t usually get sick.” – Bernie Siegel, MD (internationally recognized expert in cancer treatment and complementary holistic medicine).
- “The best clinicians understand that there is an intrinsic physiological intervention driven by positive emotions such as cheerful laughter, optimism, and hope.” – Lee Burke, MD, Associate Professor, Loma Linda School of Medicine
- “For the most part, when you go to treatment, your doctor will not necessarily tell you to take two aspirin and watch a comedy, but the effects of laughter are as real as taking drugs.” – Lee Burke. “Believe it or not, really genuine laughter can help, too.This is because laughter makes the diaphragm move, and it plays a vital role in the movement of blood throughout the body. ” – Dr. Andrea Nelson, University of Leeds School of Medicine.
With such tremendous powers of healing and renewal, the ability to laugh easily and often is a huge resource for overcoming challenges, improving your relationships, and maintaining both physical and emotional health. Best of all, this invaluable medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.As a child, we laughed hundreds of times a day, but now that we are adults, life has become more serious and laughter is more rare.
6 ways to increase the amount of laughter in your life:
1. Spend time with children; they love to laugh, a lot, and laughter is contagious.
2. Surround yourself with positive, carefree people (because, again, hearty laughter is contagious!).
3. Read anecdotes and comics.
4. Watch the new comedy in movies or on TV (even better if you watch it with friends who also like to laugh).
5. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself!
6. Join a laughter club (yes, they do exist).
What if you really can’t “find the funny”? Believe it or not, you can laugh without experiencing a funny event, and faking laughter can be just as useful as the real thing. It can even make exercise more fun and rewarding. A Georgia State University study found that incorporating fits of simulated laughter into an exercise program can help improve mental health in older adults as well as their aerobic endurance.Also, hearing others laugh, even for no apparent reason, can often elicit genuine laughter. To add simulated laughter to your own life, look for Laughter Yoga or Laughter Therapy groups. Or, you might just start laughing at other people’s jokes, even if they don’t seem funny to you. Both you and the other person will feel good, it will bring you closer, and who knows, maybe it will even lead to some spontaneous laughter.
The material was prepared on the basis of information from open sources:
https: // www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm
Laughter and more: humor has a positive effect on immunity, blood vessels and lungs | Articles
Scientists from Turkey have shown that laughter therapy can reduce the level of depression among the elderly, and specialists from South Korea Cha University have identified the beneficial effects of laughter on patients with gynecological cancer.Experts from Russia also noted the high role of laughter in the normal functioning of the body. In particular, the Center for Molecular Diagnostics of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor reported that laughter promotes the removal of mucus from the bronchi and has a beneficial effect on the circulatory system. On April Fool’s Day, April 1, Izvestia publishes the latest scientific data on how a sense of humor and the ability to have fun affect the human body and its psycho-emotional state.
Laughter has a positive effect on the health of elderly and critically ill patients.Scientists from the Department of Public Health Nursing, Faculty of Nursing, Hacettepe University (Turkey) published a review article in which they showed that laughter therapy (hasya yoga, which is the practice of group laughter) has a positive effect on physical function and psychosocial performance in older people. A total of 3.2 thousand studies were studied. Scientists found that laughter yoga practitioners of the elderly had better scores on physical function (blood pressure, cortisol levels, sleep quality) and psychosocial health (life satisfaction, quality of life, loneliness, death anxiety, depression, mood , happiness).
Physicians at the South Korean Cha University Psychiatric Department have found that group laughter sessions combined with music therapy have a positive effect on women with gynecological cancers. The group of subjects included 17 cancer patients, whose indicators were compared with 19 patients from the control group. The eight-week laughter therapy program included a 60-minute group session every seven days, consisting of laughter, deep breathing, stretching, meditation, and music-related activities (singing and dancing).
“The laughter group showed improvements in stress and depression, as well as improved emotional and functional well-being,” the article states.
Some scientists are inclined to believe that laughter is the best prevention of coronavirus infection. JAMA magazine published a column by David Fassal, M.D. of the University of Michigan Department of Radiology, stating that higher levels of humor correlate with more well-being and less depression, anxiety, and negative emotions.“While this is definitely not a panacea, there is strong evidence that humor can help us cope with the pandemic,” the article said.
An organism that laughs
Paradoxically, laughter is a serious phenomenon, and a new field of science – gelatology – is studying it. In the 60s of the twentieth century at Stanford University in the USA, it was founded by William Fry, who studied laughter and its effect on the human body. Now this direction continues to develop. In the USA and Europe, laughter therapy is widespread as a psychotherapeutic practice.For example, medical clowning is practiced in children’s clinics. And a separate direction of yoga was developed by the Indian doctor Madan Kataria, he laid the foundation for “laughter clubs”, of which there are already more than 10 thousand.
Laughter has a beneficial effect on blood vessels and respiratory organs, a leading expert of the CMD Center for Molecular Diagnostics of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology told Izvestiya Rospotrebnadzor Kira Glinka.
– When we laugh, our breathing quickens, the inhalation is prolonged and becomes deeper, and the exhalation is shorter.Frequent and deep breathing helps to remove mucus from the bronchi, in connection with which a laughing person may begin to cough. Gas exchange is accelerated several times. The blood supply to organs and tissues improves, she said.
According to a specialist, laughter has a beneficial effect on the circulatory system. It causes the brain to release endorphins, which, among other things, stimulate the production of nitric oxide, which helps relax and dilate the smooth muscles of the vascular walls. During laughter, the heart beats faster, we breathe “deeply”, which contributes to the intense saturation of blood with oxygen.Moreover, the process involves the muscles of the larynx, neck, intercostal muscles, the diaphragm, the muscles of the back, and with strong laughter – also the muscles of the extremities, noted the owner of the online medical laboratory Lab4U Valery Savanovich.
During a strong laugh, people suddenly exhale air – at about the speed of an express, about 120 km / h, said Valery Savanovich. These exhalations are repeated every 210 milliseconds on average.
– When laughing, we breathe very deeply, and this accelerates the renewal of oxygen reserves in the cells, straightens the bronchi and lungs, and frees the airways.So after laughing literally it is easier to breathe. Diaphragmatic breathing is deeper, it saturates the cells with oxygen more, therefore, it has a positive effect on the work of the heart. Laughter perfectly stimulates digestion and all organs located in the abdominal cavity, – said Valery Savanovich.
In addition to muscles, the nervous system and neurotransmitter hormones also influence the laughing process. They begin to act when an irritant appears (for example, a person was told a joke), in response to it, the psyche gives out certain emotions (joy, pleasure, fun, causing laughter).These emotions, as reactions of the body, arise due to the work of hormones, neurotransmitters, which serve as a link between the body and the nervous system.
During the coronavirus pandemic, maintaining a positive attitude and laughing as often as possible is more important than ever, experts say.
– I recommend that you always remember the classic and favorite anecdotes of the pro pessimist and optimist, about a half full or half empty glass – in any situation there are two sides of the coin. You can find positive moments everywhere, ”Irina Shmeleva, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor at the Institute of Design and Urban Studies at ITMO University, told Izvestia.
As far as therapy is concerned, hasya yoga trainings are already beginning to appear in Russia. Laughter protects against stress, creates motivation, awakens curiosity, improves memory and cognitive functions, promotes learning and even has an analgesic effect due to the formation of dopamine, said Kira Glinka.
Laughter as the best medicine for all ills
A sense of humor often helps people cope with difficult situations. First, you need to objectively consider the problem, and then look at yourself as if from the outside and try to catch the funny side of the situation.If a person is also witty, then in this unfavorable situation for himself he will be able to create a verbal acuity that will help relieve tension.
There are situations in which the manifestation of a sense of humor is extremely necessary. For example, a person is about to make a request to someone, but does not know how it will be received. There is a risk of running into a negative answer. In this case, a playful presentation of the request is very useful. A positive answer was received – great! But if the refusal is also expressed with a sense of humor, then it turns out that the request was made, the answer was received, and both sides saved their faces.
The role of humor in conflict situations is invaluable. A well-timed and well-spoken joke perfectly defuses the tense atmosphere and allows the parties to calm down and find a compromise, without experiencing any disadvantage. But the lack of a sense of humor can lead to quarrels and scandals for the most insignificant reason.
The best friends of a sense of humor are ease and inner freedom. To develop a sense of humor, it is necessary to cultivate these qualities in oneself. The jokes of a person who is constrained and unnatural is unlikely to make others laugh.
Laughter as medicine
When a person laughs, the blood vessels dilate and the blood circulates better. Even 10 minutes of laughter can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of getting plaque from cholesterol. Laughter helps even people who have had a heart attack. Doctors believe that being in a good mood can reduce the likelihood of a second attack.
Laughter is considered one of the best exercises for those with asthma and bronchitis. The fact is that during laughter, the activity of the lungs is activated, the flow of oxygen into the blood increases, which, in turn, allows you to clear the stagnation of sputum.Some doctors compare the effects of laughter to chest physiotherapy, which removes phlegm from the airways. However, laughter works much better on the respiratory tract.
People who often laugh can forget about expensive medical and cosmetic procedures to improve their skin. The fact is that laughter tones the muscles of the face and improves blood circulation. Thanks to this, a natural glow appears on the face.
The hormones of happiness endorphins, which are produced in the human body when he laughs, are natural pain relievers.Laughter helps a person forget about pain for at least a few minutes. Doctors have long noticed that patients who are positive and have the strength to laugh endure pain much more easily than those who are depressed.
Scientifically proven that laughter helps fight infections. After one minute of sincere laughter, the human body releases into the respiratory tract a huge amount of antibodies that protect us from various bacteria and viruses. In addition, laughter increases the production of white blood cells, which fight various diseases, including cancer..