Seven Surprising Things To Know About Laughter

Seven Laughter Insights

Knowing more about laughter can be important for our health and wellbeing. There have been accounts of people who have literally laughed themselves to good health. Scientific research into laughter is only just beginning. Here are seven surprising facts about laughter:

1. Laughter is not just human –This is a common misconception. In fact all mammals laugh. From apes to rats, most mammals have been observed laughing.

2. Most laughter is not about humor – There are two types of laughter. One is the “social laughter” and the other is the “involuntary laughter”. Most adult laughter happens in a social context and this laughter is more about communication than humor. We communicate things like “I understand”, “I know”, “I like you”, “this is difficult!” with our laughter.

3. We learn more about laughter as we age– As we grow older we get better in distinguishing between social laughter and involuntary laughter. We also get better in being able to tell the difference between fake laughter and real laughter.

4. Fake and social laughter can turn real– It is easy to “catch” laughter and what may start as a fake or social laughter can easily turn into involuntary real laughter.

5. Laughter can make you successful – Laughter is a key skill for success. When confronted with difficult situations, successful people are able to use laughter to convey, “We can get through this together”. When done right this helps diffuse tension and raise confidence of the people involved.

“There is little success where there is little laughter.” -Andrew Carnegie

6. Laughter helps relationships – Studies have found that couples that use laughter in stressful situations are the ones who are more successful in keeping the relationship going.

7. Laughter is healthy– When we laugh our stress levels plummet. Our BP goes down, and our mood improves. Our body does not care if the laughter is fake or real. The key is to get it going in the company of friends and fake laughter quickly turns real. This is the operating principle of laughter yoga.

So in summary- laughter is important for our relationships, it can be useful for our success, and it can improve our mood and health. Time to tune in the comedy shows and join a laughter yoga club?

Related: The Benefits Of Laughter Yoga

Credits: This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah. This is based on a TED talk given by Sophie Scott. Watch the talk here.

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