Humor is a tendency of the brain to provoke laughter and enjoy the feeling of amusement.
The response of an individual to humor depends on their age, maturity, intelligence level, education and personal interest of the individual. For example, young children would find a cartoon serial funny, whereas the adults would prefer stand-up comedy over anything else. Humor has a great positive psychological effect on the human brain.
Entertainment is a form of activity that generates a feeling of excitement and fun in an individual. Entertainment can be of any form ranging from literature and dramas to music, outings and partying.
Can depression be defeated?
Depression rather than a disease can be classified as a state of mind in which negative thoughts overshadow all the other thoughts. To suppress these thoughts a person needs to generate positive and pleasant thoughts. Here is where humor and entertainment come into play. These two have a positive effect on the brain.
As discussed earlier, an individual can keep himself by different means of entertainment depending on his personal taste and interests. (Vorderer, P., 2000)
Some of the entertainment activities have been mentioned below.
Reading has been proved to be one of the best activities to lower stress, normalize heartbeats and regularize blood pressure. So it indirectly is effective for someone facing depression or anxiety issues. Fictional or non-fictional, poem or newspaper, reading is relaxing and also a stress-buster.
Similar to other human phenomena, reading activates brain cells. When reading we go through each word and the brain triggers many simultaneous processes like vocalization and visualization to auditory detection and word analysis.
While reading, the connection between the left temporal cortex of the brain, which is responsible for language reception is intensified thus boosting the brain activity. This intensified activity continues for many days following reading.
Continuous reading habit increases the reader’s attention span and also increases the capacity of working memory.
2. Watching movies
Watching movies, television dramas, web series or cartoon shows, the brain takes a break as the motor area is not used. Movies and series come in different genres like comedy, romantic, horror, suspense thriller, etc. Every genre has almost the same effect on the human brain but the selection purely depends on an individual’s personal interest.
While watching a movie or a web series, a person is expected to laugh, cry or sob and express his emotions freely, which he would usually hesitate doing on a normal day. This makes the individual open up and overcome the emotional numbness, which is a commonly observed trait with a person in depression.
Contrary to the usual belief that horror movies would shoot up your stress level, various studies have proved them to be a great relieving activity. This genre is also known to activate the brain’s motor area.
Self-healing is considered to be one of the best ways to beat anxiety and what would be better than going on a vacation to some peaceful and serene environment for weekends at least once a month.
Any person tends to get caught up in today’s corporate world with the pressure of meeting targets and client deadlines. This takes a toll on the body both physically and mentally and causes anxiety and depression in the employee.
To get out of this ever-demanding bubble, an outing with friends or colleagues is a welcome move any day. Indulging yourself in long drives, trekking, swimming, playing various water sports lets your brain relax and calm down.
An individual gets an opportunity to explore different places, and do various activities that impacts mental health positively. Exposure to new cultures, meeting new people, learning new languages have been related to bringing out the creativity of an individual and also increasing his problem-solving capabilities.
Effects of a vacation can be seen for a long duration, even after returning to daily life. Some studies have proved the positive effects of a vacation can be observed typically for at least 4-5 weeks.
While deciding on a vacation spot, decide according to your choices and preferences. If you visit places that excite you, then you are more enthusiastic, and thus your cortisol levels will decrease. Your travel plans can be big or small, expensive or exotic, but it should be something that impacts you in a positive and satisfactory manner.
4. Meeting Friends
Everyone likes to hang out with friends at a popular club or hotel. It is a perfect occasion to share your thoughts and feelings as well as discuss some personal issues. But a person in depression or facing anxiety issues would usually avoid such social gatherings. So the key here is to overcome that inner voice of spending time alone and socialize with others.
You can catch up with your friends at a restaurant, club, museum or any other place of personal interest. An individual is also able to share his personal ideas and thoughts that helps bring out creativity and also makes him forget about the negative and unpleasant thoughts.
The only thing to take care about during socializing is the misuse of drugs. People mostly get influenced by their friends and get caught up in the trap of drugs. This is a terribly bad habit that can lead you to addiction.
5. Indulging in Hobbies
Hobbies are something that has been inculcated in a human from childhood subconsciously. A hobby practiced by an individual depends on his personal interest in accordance with the atmosphere and environment he has been brought up in. An individual’s interest can be academic, physical activity, or creative and his choice of hobbies depends on it.
Listening to music, playing indoor and outdoor games, cooking, writing are some of the best hobbies that makes a person think and is also a good exercise for the brain.
Investing your time on a hobby that an individual enjoys can improve his wellbeing and mental health. People who take out time for their hobbies are less likely to suffer from depression, mood swings and stress.
1. Watching cartoons
Watching cartoons has proven to be a great stress-buster. Cartoons are not just about the pleasant, bright colors and appealing animation that help an individual deal with unwelcome and grim feelings. Cartoons by uplifting vision of yours can easily convey a message of hope and comfort.
Watching such shows trains the brain to fight and deal with pessimistic notions like conflict, frustration and loneliness. So if an individual is facing depression or anxiety, they should make it a point to watch such shows.
Even repeatedly watching the same cartoon shows that were previously watched have proven to be effective.
2. Attending Stand-Up Comedy
Stand-up comedy is a form of live session comedy where a performer cracks humorous jokes on various subjects. It can be classified into various types depending on the subject chosen. Satire, roasting, impromptu and dark humor are some of the most common types of stand-up comedy.
An individual who has been stressed out due to work-related or some personal issues should make a point of attending such sessions. The duration of such sessions can vary from about an hour to two hours.
3. Attending laughing therapy sessions
In laughter therapy sessions, a group of people stand in a circle, randomly placed from each other with the host standing in the middle and laugh while making eye contact with each other. This session usually lasts for around 20-30 minutes with each bout of about 45 seconds.
Attending such sessions and laughing according to a predefined exercise pattern make you feel relaxed and prepare you for all the hassles later in the day.
There are different laughing clubs that you can join. Some may be free of charge and some charge a nominal fee for youtube a member of it. But the relief it gives from anxiety and stress is worth the money and time an individual invests in it. (Lefcourt, H. M. 2002)
Be it depression or anxiety, the most effective way to get out of it is socializing and indulging in activities that interest you. So take out time from your daily schedule for the activities of entertainment and humor. These would slowly but steadily bring a change and strengthen up your mental wellbeing manifold times.