Comedy in the Time of COVID. The world retreated into their homes either to quarantine in isolation or to spend the lockdown with their families. COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact not just in the United States but on the entire globe. The world may be reeling from the effects of COVID and the heat of the political scene. However, humor and comedy in the time of COVID are not entirely out of place either.
Coronavirus is severe, and the impact of the pandemic is surreal. So one can ask, is there a spot for COVID in the field of comedy? Can it be a source of comedic material, and should comedians even joke about it? Some believe that levity or fun has a place in a time of grave seriousness.
Global leaders, Karens, and quarantined youth on TikTok have trended throughout this year as sources of humor during the lockdown. Old stand-up comedies and funny videos have gained more traction and popularity to people in lockdown or quarantine. Although comedians and audiences are from diverse parts of the world, they have found common ground — humor as a coping mechanism in this time of uncertainty. On purpose or not, comedy has found its way into people’s lives now, more than ever.
Comedians have also used humor as a way to raise awareness and funds for the COVID-19 pandemic. Comics believe that levity in the time of fear and uncertainty is a great way to cope with the stress the epidemic brings.
People have engaged in various activities during the lockdown. Baking, gardening, and even comedy in the time of COVID are quite popular. But even if quarantines have slowly eased up, and visiting comedy clubs and places of socializing is more accessible than it was eight months ago, uncertainty, recession, and physical and mental health concerns are still on the rise.
How exactly does comedy help in such a difficult time?
Mental health issues have been reported to have risen significantly during the past eight months of the pandemic. Although seeking professional help is still the best way to go, know that laughter and humor ensure improved mental and emotional health.
Dopamine and serotonin in the brain are released when you see that funny stand-up comedy special or when a viral TikTok comedian is at it again. Dopamine gives an individual a sense of pleasure, and serotonin makes a person feel relaxed. Thanks to funny videos and comedians, that sense of glee helps alleviate anxiety and stress.
Apart from that is the fact that boisterous laughter helps your muscles contract and relax. The additional oxygen that enters your body increases mental clarity and immunity. When your blood vessels expand, thanks to new air influx, regeneration and reduced stress levels ensue.
The world has been stuck in their homes and gadgets in quarantine. Despite this, humor and comedy in the time of COVID are not entirely out of place. Comedy is a form of therapy, and laughter is a healthy exercise that is free of cost. Laughter will lower your stress and irritability too. And at the end of our day in quarantine, laughter is the only infection we need.
Let’s be honest: This year hasn’t been easy for any comedy club, and they all deserve a tip of the cap for surviving months with closed doors and no laughter. But Side Splitters was the first one back, and it clearly had a plan in place for its return. That meant installing an air purification system, paper menus and silverware, mask requirements for staff and customers, professional cleaning, and all the required social distancing. It even held a special benefit show for their employees who were hurt financially. All the local clubs have done a good job, but Side Splitters deserves special mention for getting things up and running in a professional and positive manner. sidesplitterscomedy.com —Michael Murillo
Maybe one of the oldest adages or expressions is “laughter is the best medicine,” and perhaps rightly so as this is backed up by science. Not only is it a tool for fighting stress, but research also shows that there are a whole lot more benefits of laughter.
Here are several findings and reasons that will make you embrace laughter therapy even more:
- Laughter releases endorphins
There are several studies that support why laughter is the best medicine, and it’s practically due to the fact that laughing, particularly with others, releases endorphins in the brain. These hormones are feel-good neurotransmitters, and research shows that laughing releases these via opioid receptors. Once a person’s mind has numerous opioid receptors, the more potent the effect. Laughter, to an extent, induces euphoria and gives a sense of happiness or calm.
- Laughter relaxes the body and boosts the immune system
A burst of hearty laughter relieves the body’s physical tension and relaxes the muscles. Stress hormones are also significantly decreased when you laugh. Apart from this, laughter increases cells for immunity and antibodies that fight infection. So most probably the next comedy show you watch or the comedy club you visit is the reason you are disease-resistant.
- Laughter helps burn calories and protects the heart
Although not a gym replacement, research has shown that around 40 calories can be burned when you laugh for 10 to 15 minutes. That’s as simple as watching a short comedy show. Also, laughing improves the blood flow in your body as well as the function of your blood vessels. This may eventually translate to protection against various cardiovascular problems and heart attacks.
- Social bonds are formed
The social bonds that laughter induces are contagious. Once endorphins are released, such as in social laughing, a sense of belongingness or togetherness is espoused. So even if you are not aware of what is funny or what other people in your group are laughing about, feelings of social bonds are released. The brain serves as a transmitter of the awesome feels via laughter, and because it is contagious, social relationships are formed.
- Laughter is crucial for relationships
According to research, women typically rate humor as one of the top 3 traits that they look for in a potential partner. On the other hand, males have the tendency to evaluate women who laugh a lot higher than those who do not. Couples who laugh together have also reported higher-quality relationships. Laughter therapy adds vitality and resilience to a relationship, and is, therefore, is one of the ways to strengthen and make it long-lasting.
- Laughter is necessary for your mental health
Laughter is indeed the best medicine because it is a holistic way to improve overall health. Laughing prevents distressing emotions and increases energy. It enables you to stay more focused and be less stressed. Feelings of anxiety, anger, and sadness are also decreased when a person is laughing or accommodates humor. A humorous approach and perspective also help diffuse feelings of being overwhelmed.
Laughter is the best medicine. This saying is often thought to be an old cliche, but it’s still relevant for a reason: it’s true! In fact, science can prove it to you. Let’s face it—someone who laughs often and is always smiling looks like they are at peace compared to someone who looks like he attended five funerals in a row. After all, a person’s disposition can affect the way he does things. Compare these two people: a bright, lively person and sulky, ungrateful one. If both of them faced the same problem head-on, who do you think would have handled it better? We don’t even need to give an answer because the winner is clear!
Although it’s not the only method, laughter is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to change your life. Plus, there are health benefits associated with laughter.
Wondering how laughter can do your body some good? Keep reading!
Laughter Ensures Good Emotional Health
People encounter stressors from work, family, and the environment on a daily basis. The pressure can take a toll on their mental health, cornering them like a poisonous predator and shackling them into a dark void. Fortunately, there’s a cure: laughter!
When people have a lot of fun, they laugh and fill themselves with warm, happy emotions. When this happens, the brain triggers the release of hormones called dopamine, which gives people a sense of pleasure. Another hormone that gets released is called serotonin. Serotonin helps people feel at ease. Then, they can easily relax and enjoy themselves. The combination of the two creates a utopia-like feeling that helps alleviate stress and anxiety.
The next time you find yourself stuck with a task that overwhelms you, find something that can make you laugh hard enough to scare the stress and anxiety away. Remember—humor can help make people resilient to problems.
Laughing Strengthens Your Cardiovascular System and Lungs
Who would’ve thought that laughing could be an exercise? Humor is healing because your muscles are continuously contracting and relaxing as you laugh. When you begin to chuckle, your blood vessels start to expand because of the influx of air. The extra air holds more oxygen, so your body gets supplemented with an extra dose. These elevated oxygen levels can improve regeneration, mental clarity, immunity, and heart rate while reducing stress levels. In fact, there is a treatment called oxygen therapy used to treat people with low oxygen levels. The therapy helps to reduce symptoms such as headaches, irritability, swollen ankles, and fatigue.
As for your lungs, laughing fills your chest with fresh air. The stale air lingering is replaced with pure, clean air that’s rich in oxygen. The sudden intake of breath causes the alveoli to expand and take in all the essential oxygen for your body.
That said, it’s wise to surround yourself with people who are always laughing—they’re healthy! With the extra oxygen intake, you can face adversities head-on with a smile.
Are you looking for a good laugh? Now that you know how laughing makes you healthier, you would definitely look for ways to be happy. Try stand-up comedy. If you’re not sure where to look, visit Tampa’s favorite comedy club—Splitters Comedy—to laugh, smile, and have a good time!
Stand-up comedy does not have to be for expert comedians only. If that were the case, there wouldn’t be any newcomers in the comedy industry. Everyone needs to try making jokes in front of a crowd every once in a while. In fact, it’s good for people’s well-being to try something as fun and as exhilarating as performing at a comedy bar. Today, let us talk about the top 5 reasons performing stand-comedy is good for everyone.
Here are five of the top reasons how stand-up comedy is useful not just for professionals, but for everyone:
- It’s a thrilling new experience
Millennials love trying new things, such as hiking, backpacking abroad, or searching for exotic food. Performing in front of other people is an exciting new experience, too. Compared to other activities, it is quite a unique one, bringing out adrenaline that many people look for.
- It brings out the confidence to talk in public
Performing stand-up comedy is an exciting way to gain the confidence to talk in public. Unlike other public speaking venues, the environment in a comedy bar is laid-back and casual. The topics are informal and fun, too, which removes the pressure to talk like a pro. This gives the speaker the confidence to discuss whatever interests the group openly. The initial phases might seem patchy, but it’s easy to get the hang of it once the audience laughs. This is a great form of practice for anyone who wants to level up their public speaking skills.
- It improves creativity and sharpens the wit
Most people have day jobs that don’t let them explore their creativity. It is inspiring to be in the presence of fellow creative people that flock to comedy bars. It is also pretty challenging to form jokes and funny anecdotes and deliver them in a charismatic way. It brings out one’s creativity and sharpens one’s wit to come up with more lines to entertain the crowd. That said, it is an ideal exercise for aspiring writers or actors to get their creative juices flowing.
- It’s a cool way to relieve stress
Stand-up comedy is a quick escape from a monotonous life. Making jokes and seeing people laugh is contagious. It makes the comedian happy and relieved to see that other people appreciate their jokes. In a comedy bar, there are also many exciting people to meet. So, the overall experience is a great way to relieve stress and leave all worries behind.
- It’s great for bonding with family and friends
Performing a stand-up comedy is definitely a show to behold. It is an opportunity to invite one’s friends and family to watch the show. It’s more interesting to be the person who is the source of entertainment instead of simply watching a show together. Also, the fun atmosphere is a chance to bond with other people and share moments with them.
People must try the experience of performing stand-up at least once. Some people try performing stand-up and end up making it a hobby or even a career. Side Splitters Comedy is a premier comedy club that offers stand-up performances with national and homegrown comedy stars. We also hold open mic comedy shows where anyone is given a chance to take part in a fun and worthwhile experience. Do you agree with the top 5 reasons performing stand-comedy is good for everyone?