Psychoemotional Well-Being. Joy


 In the modern world filled with stress, the necessity for physical activity keeps increasing, because it provides positive gain to our mental health. Fox and his colleagues propose physical exercises as a way to improve mental health, in order to fight a depressive state, anxiety, improve one’s mood and manage negative emotions (Fox et al., 2000). Research shows that physical activities have a positive impact on our mood and well-being. Even 10-minute-long regular physical activities improve people’s mood. The more active a person is physically, the better they can overcome the feelings caused by emotional tension and improve their physical well-being (Fox et al., 2000, Biddle & Mutrie, 2008). Read more saite

Research in neuropsychology shows that it is related to the brain functioning and regulation of neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine). Dopamine is a neuromediator which is responsible for the feeling of satisfaction and pleasure. Serotonin ensures the sensation of energy, as well as surge of emotional and physical energy. Norepinephrine is responsible for the feeling of happiness and joy. In our brain, the neurons communicate with the help of synapses, through which they transmit biochemical matters (neuromediators) from one to another, and it impacts our feelings and sensations significantly. In case of emotional tension or disturbance the communication between the nerve cells is disrupted, the synapses do not function correctly and the amount of transmitted neuromediators can be inadequate. Physical activity is a simple and effective tool which can help us to control the amount of neuromediators and the biochemical composition of our brain (Lin & Kuo, 2013).

The activities diminish the muscle tension, improves the physical well-being, metabolism and cognitive processes (working memory, attention retention and focus), as well as lowers the risk of developing depression. Research shows that neuron networks increase and the communication between the cells is more efficient when people move actively (Biddle, 2000; Hansen et al., 2001; Harvay et al., 2017). Scientists have observed that performing aerobic and anaerobic exercises (such as stretching and yoga) diminished the symptoms of depression and anxiety in research participants after 3 weeks  (Veale et al., 1992, Fox et al., 2000).

Judith Wurtman (2021) notes that laughter is a widely known remedy for stress regardless of whether the stress was caused by events in one’s personal life, working circumstances or a greater crisis. There is considerable evidence proving that laughter is a therapeutically useful addition to other means aimed at improving one’s well-being. According to Wurtman, laughter therapy is a non-pharmaceutical alternative for diminishing stress and depression, and its effect is proved by research. During such a therapy, laughter can be induced by certain exercises or even a special type of yoga – laughter yoga. Laughter yoga is one of the interventions of positive psychology developed in India in 1995 by a physician Madan Kataria. It involves movement and breathing exercises, which cause spontaneous laughter. The effect of laughter yoga is confirmed by research. For example, in one of the studies it was observed that the indices for depression and anxiety for women who participated in laughter yoga sessions twice a week, had considerably diminished, and the improvement of well-being could be noticed already a month after the beginning of the yoga practice. In another study, the participants attending a group of laughter therapy, had considerably diminished signs of depression, fewer cases of insomnia and improved quality of sleep (Wurtman, 2021).

Diaphragmatic or deep breathing helps to relax muscles and restore psychological resources – to be full of energy, have a rest and be able to handle stress. Deep breathing and focused muscle relaxation helps us concentrate on our feelings and sensations and turn our attention from obsessive thoughts. Deep (diaphragmatic) breathing, unlike shallow breathing, ensures a greater amount of oxygen in our cells, which influences cognitive processes significantly (Levine, 2000).