In an era plagued by increasing screen time and less face time, meeting and connecting with people is more important than ever. Human beings crave a community and genuine human connections, but fear and anxiety can keep us from stepping out of our comfort zone and instead keep us tied to the comfort of home or the screen. This is where improvisational comedy comes in.
The power of laughter to transform our brain chemistry has been proven again and again in years of scientific studies. Researchers and clinical psychologists are now discovering the therapeutic benefits in the learning process of improvisational comedy. Improv affects a range of human emotions and life skills and promotes emotional and mental health. Mindfulness, communication skills, social skills, emotional regulation, self-awareness, and interpersonal connections are just a few of the many gains embedded in the process of learning improv.
As the benefits of improv on the brain continue to emerge, mental health professionals and improv theaters all over the world have created therapeutic programs. And the results are clear- improv is good for your emotional health, mental health, personal relationships, and your life!
Here is just some of the research and press dedicated to improvisational comedy:
US News and World Report: The Health Benefits of Practicing Improv
Washington Post: The Not-So-Funny Reason Therapists are Taking Comedy Classes
Psychology Today: Can Improv Comedy Treat Social Anxiety?
The Atlantic: Using Comedy Improv as Therapy for Anxiety
Illinois Institute of Technology: Thera-prov: a Pilot Study of Improv Used to Treat Anxiety and Depression
Autism Support Network: Autism, Life, and Learning Improv
Indiana Public Media: Whose Line is it Really? How Improv Benefits Children with Autism
Southern California Public Radio: How Improv Helps Kids with Autism: A Look at ‘Zip Zap Zop’ Enrichment
Chicago Tribune: Laughter is the test medicine
American Medical Association: How Improv Is Helping Patients with Alzheimer’s disease
New York Times: Trying Improv as Therapy for Those with Memory Loss
Huffington Post: Improvisation Can Help Heal– Even Trauma, Even Alzheimer’s
Guideposts.org: Alzheimer’s Disease: Comedy Improv is a Surprising Resource
Do something for mental and emotional health today- sign up for an improv class!