Full Text PDF | anger control, anger expression, anxiety, laughter, self-acceptance.
Laughter has been found to have multiple positive effects on different dimensions of well-being, like the functioning of the immune system or the cardiovascular system, in alleviating the pain or the suffering in different long term diseases like cancer or diabetes. At the interpersonal level, being laughed at (even when accepted) has negative effects, whereas laughing together strengthens the relationships and helps in building trust. The effects have been investigated both for natural and provoked laughter. The article presents the results of an experiment investigating the immediate effects of laughter on self-acceptance, anxiety, and anger, as these dimensions are strongly connected with well-being in general at interpersonal, psychological and biological levels. The participants in the experimental group watched a situational comedy. Significant differences were found for the unconditional self-acceptance, trait-anxiety, anger expression (both internal and external) and anger control: The persons who had laughed had higher self-acceptance, lower trait-anxiety, lower tendency to express anger, both outside or outside, and a higher ability to calm down. The focus shifts from self-assessment to self-acceptance and acceptance of the situation. The person focuses on being and not on reacting, helping in a harmonious integration into the environment, limiting herself to the natural, spontaneous actions naturally adjusted to the situations, being more able to mentally deal with the incongruence causing cognitive dissonance and not trying to suppress them.