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Painted Brain | “never Had A Friend Like Me!”
We're bridging communities and changing the conversation about mental illness using arts and media.
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  • April 11, 2018

“Never Had A Friend Like Me!”

Have you ever questioned what makes you feel a strong and intimate connection with an individual? Sometimes, those you just met and feel you’ve known forever. When analyzing the interactions with those you feel a strong chemistry with, you may notice the underlying feeling of security. This could be a result of an individual being vulnerable and funny. I ask as comedians that I’ve perceived to be so personable and hilarious like Robin Williams have left on a dark note. The reason I question this is to open the conversation about those who serve in your life as a source of humor and intimacy and how they may be suffering in silence. I know I have.

 

How would you begin to identify an individual that may be contemplating suicide? From my experience, it’s those who tend to serve and have ideologies that encompass a better world and a more progressive society. They may be individuals that don’t define clear boundaries and eventually run on empty. Mentally, when one invests more than they have to serve themselves, they’re faced head-on with the purpose of living. Physically, if your body is compromised by an illness it can impede in experiencing the purpose of living. Who’s to say it’s right or wrong but by the individual’s perception of purpose and life. That, unfortunately, was what drove three individuals I dearly loved to end their lives.

 

We as a society are facing a multi-dimensional transition of awareness. What we do with that knowledge can empower the future and save lives. Understanding the terms and conditions of life gives room for individuals to either build or realize empathy. I hope we can move toward a society that uses humor to bridge communities as comedy can truly remedy social divide and ignorance.

 

The power of laughter can be explained in 5 points.

  1. Burns Calories
    • Research conducted by Maciej Buchowski, Ph.D., at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center revealed that “laughing raises energy expenditure and increases heart rate 10 to 20%.” As such, 10 to 15 minutes of laughter burns approximately 10 to 40 calories per day, which equals almost four pounds a year.
  2. Releases Feel-Good Chemicals
    • Laughing hysterically releases endorphins, which, in the words of Elle Woods, makes you happy. One study found even the anticipation of laughter helps “positive psychological mood states” and decreases stress. Plus, The New York Times reports that the physical act of laughing—as in the muscular movements involved in producing the sound—prompts an increase in endorphins.
  3. Whole Brain Involvement
    • One study experimented with the electrical activity that occurs when we laugh. “About four-tenths of a second after we hear the punch line of a joke—but before we laugh—a wave of electricity sweeps through the cortex,” reports Peter Derks, a professor of psychology at the College of William and Mary.
  4. Strengthens Connection
    • Results published in the Journal of Neuroscience from a study done by researchers from Turku PET Centre, University of Oxford, and Aalto University “highlight that endorphin release induced by social laughter may be an important pathway that supports formation, reinforcement, and maintenance of social bonds between humans,” reports Science Daily. “The pleasurable and calming effects of the endorphin release might signal safety and promote feelings of togetherness.”

      This explains why joking around has become an icebreaker in many social situations. Laughing allows for a feeling of togetherness you may not otherwise find with strangers as well as a way to bond even more intimately with friends.

  5. Relaxes Body
    • Laughing relieves physical tension and stress and can help your muscles relax. And if you feel physically exhausted from laughing (think the pain in your abdominal muscles), it results in the same natural high exercise elicits. Recall the last time you worked out and how relaxed your body felt afterward. It’s a similar feeling after a good belly laugh, and it continues for almost an hour.

      However, it also causes some muscles to become less coordinated, which accounts for why giddy laughter can leave us feeling clumsy and out of sorts. Essentially, saying you’re “weak with laughter” is not just a metaphor.

 

The power of empathy can be explained in 5 short points.

  1. Builds Awareness
    • Individuals that share personal stories can bring about awareness.
  2. Builds Community
    • Individuals gravitate toward real conversations and want to feel connected.
  3. Creates Just Laws
    • Personal stories can influence policy.
  4. Strengthens Connection
    • Fosters intimacy and trust.
  5. Prevents Bullying
    • The awareness can build accountability and leadership to protect the marginalized society.

 

Join us April 16th! Doors open at 6:30 pm and the show starts at 7:30 pm at the El Cid – 4212 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90029.

Using the promo code “PAINTEDBRAIN”, you’ll receive 10% off and $5 will be donated to us. Get your tickets here – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/silver-lake-laughs-comedy-centrals-thomas-dale-tickets-44566522669.

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