Who doesn’t love laughing? It’s good to laugh, both for relieving your stress levels and for general health – meaning that more of us should take time out to share a chuckle more often. Laughter is generally a human condition, but that doesn’t make it any less fascinating. Take a look below for 13 interesting and fun facts about laughing.
1. There’s an entire strand of study which looks only into laughing and laughter, and how it affects our bodies. This branch of study is called gelotology, and you’ll likely find plenty of big studies and papers online.
2. It’s thought that, on average, you will likely laugh around 13 times a day. Of course, that depends on your circumstances, and whether or not you’ve seen anything on TV worth laughing at!
3. It’s thought that laughter generally happens through social response – and that most of us laugh at jokes in the minority – jokes only really account for about 15% of what makes us laugh, on the whole!
4. There are some studies which suggest that laughing can help to fight heart disease – of course, the data on this drills a little bit deeper than this simple fact!
5. Humans aren’t the only species on Earth who laugh. You might assume that your dog is laughing when they pant – however, it’s largely rats and monkeys who share this trait! Both appear to laugh when tickled – though they are laughs much different to ours!
6. It’s thought that people were able to laugh – and to communicate through laughter – before any language was ever established. It’s also true that laughter is universal, and that it crosses language boundaries.
7. Laughing actually burns calories – probably more than you’d assume. It’s thought that laughing around 15 minutes a day can burn around 40 calories. Therefore, if you really want to make a difference to your diet, you’d probably need to be laughing for three hours straight! Worth a go?
8. It’s thought that what makes us laugh might actually be down to our genes. It’s thought that senses of humour are hereditary, with research suggesting that some genes present may correlate with our likelihood to laugh at certain things. Therefore, what you find funny might well align with what your parents laugh at, too!
9. While you might like to watch funny shows or videos on your own, it’s thought that you are going to be 30x more likely to laugh at something if you are in a group. Therefore, if you really want to feel good, it’s probably worth finding something funny to watch as a group.
10. Some people assume – or might even tell you – that you can make yourself laugh by tickling yourself. Unfortunately, while the intentions behind this misconception are pure, science outright debunks the theory. That’s because laughing at a tickle is a response of surprise. If your brain knows that you’re about to tickle yourself, then you’re not going to laugh!
11. Breathing while laughing is fairly difficult – especially if you have a fit of the giggles. That’s because your diaphragm actually spasms in and out. It’s this motion which actually causes the sound of your laugh, too!
12. Laughing helps to release endorphins, which the brain uses to help relieve stress. That’s why having a good laugh can really help to relax you. Therefore, next time you feel a bit wrung out, why not try watching something funny, or having a laugh with friends?
13. Laughter is contagious – quite literally. In the same way that it is difficult not to yawn when you see someone else doing the same, our brains are wired to laugh when we see other people smile and laugh, too. That’s why it’s often funny seeing someone’s reactions – alongside the clip or joke in question. Studies carried out at the University College London found that muscle activators leapt into action when subjects heard laughing noises – meaning that to some extent, our brains are predetermined to laugh at others laughing – no matter how hard we may try to fight it!