When was the last time you were in a crowd and the whole group erupted in laughter? The energy seemed to swell, and sounds of chuckles, snorts and hearty laughs filled the room. Bright smiles came upon each face, reflecting pure joy. There’s really nothing like it. Laughter is contagious, and there are scientific reasons why we love it. When you laugh, your brain releases endorphins – “our homegrown feel-good chemicals.”
Laughter also acts as a bonding agent among social groups, creating a shared experience. “Spreading endorphin release through groups promotes a sense of togetherness and safety.” Most of us recognize the need for a community, a place to belong and often laughter is a quick way to connect.
Our brains receive a release of serotonin when we’re laughing, which can help regulate mood and promote a sense of happiness. The health benefits of laughter stretch beyond our brains and has been found to “protect blood vessels and heart muscles from the damaging effects of cardiovascular disease.” Researchers believe this is related to reducing the body’s stress response and thus helps heart health.
We know environment plays an important role in reducing stress and being able to relax—camps often provide places for campers and guests to step away from everyday stressors, paving the way for great conversations and lots of laughter. Just what the doctor ordered.