Read a study today in the New York Times talking about how laughter is a physical, not a mental thing. They actually did a study on this with people and everything! CRAZY!!! If you are a runner, we have known for a long time that laughter and smiling is a great way to get through the rough spots. I always just thought it was a “positive mental picture” kind of thing. Well, was I wrong.
It turns out that laughter releases endorphins! They did a study where they put test subjects through a series of painful experiments before and then after exposing the subjects to TV shows which created various forms of laughter. The subjects were told to tell the people conducting the study when the certain object designed to inflict pain actually caused enough pain that they could not stand it any longer. As it turns out, after being exposed to comedy and creating laughter the subject were all able to withstand the pain for significantly longer and more of it.
I tell people I train with all the time to smile through the pain. It doesn’t make it feel so bad. I always did this because I knew it worked for me. When you see me smiling when I am running or working out, you can just assume that I am currently hurting more than likely. I am happy to know that now there is proof that I am not so crazy after all!