Laughter – why do it?

Funnily enough for a very long time it was thought that only humans could laugh. And that is wrong. Primates and even rats are capable of laughter. It is also true that laughter is a social event throughout all species. You are 30 times more likely to laugh when you are with somebody else than when you are on your own.

Laughing is also an enormously behaviorally contagious effect. You can catch it, the same way you catch a cold. You are more likely to laugh with someone you know and care about. It won’t come as a surprise that the younger we are the more easily laughter is contagious to us.

boy sitting on bench while holding a book

Some theories differentiate between 2 types of laughter, one, involuntary, the one that happens when we get tickled or have a an uncontrollable burst of laugher that may or may not occasionally end in tears.  The other one, voluntary, a “posed” laughter if you like, to fulfill a social role in our interaction with other people, to show our appreciation and sympathy towards others. This kind of “social” laughter is more nasal, less intense. It is fascinating to hear that kids cannot recognize the difference between these 2, and adults can only “master” to differentiate between them in their late 30s, early 40s.

Laughter triggers our curiosity, the same as hearing your name, when we hear people laughing our brain activates and wants to figure out what are they laughing about?

Laughter is a crucial to help us make and maintain social bonds, it also helps us regulate emotions, when we are sad or in a uncomfortable situation. I have a friend who whenever she is at a funeral tends to stay outside and crack jokes at people, its her way of dealing with grief and anxiety

2 women lying on ground



Laughter makes you feel good and puts you in high spirits. Did you know that laughter causes physiological responses that protect the body from disease and help your vital organs repair themselves?

Laughter is an emotional medicine that reduces stress, anger, and loneliness. It is hard to feel negative emotions while laughing, and reduces your stress level, eases your anxieties, and releases endorphins. Laughter increases your energy level, and helps you engage with other humans socially – which allows you to be less overwhelmed, more spontaneous, and far more confident.

Laughing every day improves your mood, making your relationships with others more meaningful and effortless, while life’s many hurdles will not seem so daunting. Your body, mind and soul will reap the health benefits of this natural and free medicine.

I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills.  It’s probably the most important thing in a person. Audrey Hepburn