People who know something about science and people who know nothing about science can agree on one thing: laughter is good for you. Even though we all experience it, there’s a lot we don’t know about laughter. For example, we probably won’t be able to answer any of these questions: Can you die from laughing too much? What is the deal with yawning? Is there a connection between crying with laughter and crying because something hurts somewhere? Does stress cause your immune system to break down, which would make you more susceptible to catching colds? In this article, you’ll learn what the science of laughter has revealed so far.
Can You Die From Laughing?
If you’re any kind of normal person, then no, you can’t die from laughing. It’s physiologically impossible to die from laughing because laughing is a reflex that doesn’t require any effort or conscious thought. Some people may interpret this question to mean ‘is it possible to die while laughing?’ Indeed, there are many recorded deaths from hysterical laughter – these could be classified as either tragic accidents or suicide. It would be very difficult to die from laughter alone, but if you somehow combined laughter with another dangerous situation (such as falling out of a window), it is possible that you could die. It has never actually been recorded that someone has died from laughter alone.
Why do humans laugh?
1. It Feels Good.
Humans have a huge limbic system in our brains, which is where our emotions are processed and regulated. Our brain is also used for reasoning and logic, but these two functions are separated by a barrier. Scientists used to think that emotions and logic were completely opposite and separate, but it turns out that’s not entirely true. There is some crossover between them and emotions are used for reasoning. So, when we’re laughing, we’re flooding our brains with a chemical called dopamine. This is the “feel-good” chemical that makes us happy. It’s also responsible for our cravings, addictions, and desires. When we laugh, our bodies create dopamine, which is responsible for the happy feelings we experience.
2. It’s A Way To Build Connections.
Humans spend a lot of time socializing, which means a lot of time trying to figure out if we like the people we talk to. One way humans determine if they like someone is by mirroring their behavior. If you’re having a conversation with someone and they start laughing, it’s likely that you will too. This is because laughter is a social signal that we’re connected to the people we’re with. However, the real power of laughing together is that it allows us to connect more deeply with people. This is why we often laugh with friends and family, but rarely laugh with strangers. Even though we may not know why something is funny, laughing together helps us form connections and bonds with others.
3. It Communicates That Something Is Funny.
We might laugh at things that aren’t actually funny, but our laughing is still meaningful. When we laugh at something, we are communicating that we think it’s funny. This might seem like a strange phenomenon, but it’s true. For example, if you’re watching a comedy and the main character slips on a banana peel, you might laugh even though the situation is completely absurd. This is because laughter is a way to communicate our feelings and reactions to others. So, even if something is nonsensical, we might still laugh because laughter is a way for us to signal to others that we think something is funny.
4. Laughing At Things That Aren’t Funny Benefits Society.
Humans have been doing comedy for decades and it’s become a huge part of our culture. It’s also interesting that comedians almost always laugh at their own jokes. While this might seem like they don’t know what’s funny, it’s actually to our benefit. When people are laughing at something that isn’t funny, it benefits society and makes people more accepting. This is called the “norm theory” and it means that we are more accepting of things that we see others laughing at. When we see others laughing at a joke that isn’t funny, we become more accepting of it and less critical. For example, if a comedian makes a joke about racism, people who are not racist will laugh. This makes us more accepting of the joke and helps us put it into context. It basically makes us more open-minded, which is a quality that most people admire.
5. Laughter Can Be An Expression Of Relief Or Happiness.
Humans often laugh when they’re experiencing joy. People often assume that we laugh when we are amused, but that’s not always true. Sometimes, we laugh when we’re experiencing relief. For example, if you’ve been waiting in line at the grocery store and finally get to the checkout, you might laugh in relief that you don’t have to wait any longer. This is because laughter releases a chemical called endorphin, which helps to regulate our mood and makes us feel happier. So, when we laugh for no reason, it’s possible that we’re experiencing an emotion called “joy.” It’s also possible that we’ve just been waiting for something for a long time or we’re feeling relief at getting something finished.
What does laughter do to your body?
1. Stress Relief
Life is full of stressful situations. Laughing can help you reduce your stress levels, as it is a type of stress-reduction therapy. Laughter also releases neurotransmitters in the brain like serotonin and dopamine, which are associated with a positive mood and good health. A study found that people who watched a funny video experienced a significant reduction in cortisol, a hormone that is released when you feel stressed or anxious. Another study found that people who watched a short clip of a stand-up comedy during a stressful situation experienced less stress compared to people who didn’t watch the comedy.
2. Mental Fitness
Laughing can improve your mental fitness because it exercises your brain. As you age, your risk of developing dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other forms of cognitive impairment increases. Studies have found that people who participate in activities that boost their mental fitness, such as laughing, are less likely to develop these conditions. Diversion therapy, which is the act of turning your attention from an unhealthy state to a healthier state, has been shown to help people who are dealing with mental illness. Laughter is an example of diversion therapy, as it helps people refocus their attention from negative emotions and thoughts to something positive, such as laughing. Laughter can also help you build stronger relationships with friends and family members. Building strong relationships will help reduce your risk of developing mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety.
3. Better Breathing
Laughing can help you improve the way you breathe. When you laugh, you take in more air than normal. This extra airflow is helpful in reducing your stress levels and increasing your metabolism. A faster metabolism means that your body is burning more calories than usual, resulting in weight loss. Not only does laughing help you breathe better, but it can also help others breathe better! If you are in a social setting where others are breathing with reduced airflow, you can help them breathe better by laughing. You may not even realize that you are helping others breathe better by laughing in these situations.
4. Better Sleep
Laughter can help you get a better night’s sleep. A study found that people who watched a humorous video before going to bed fell asleep faster and woke up less often during the night. Laughter may help you get a better night’s sleep because it releases serotonin, a hormone associated with feeling happy and relaxed. Increased serotonin levels may also help reduce your cortisol levels, which will allow you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. When you don’t get enough sleep, you may experience issues with your health and mental well-being. Sleep deprivation can make you feel tired, irritable, and depressed. Laughter can help you get a better night’s sleep, which can help improve your overall health.
5. Physical Wellness
Laughing can improve your physical health by strengthening your immune system, lowering your blood pressure, and reducing the number of stress hormones in your body. A strong immune system is essential for fighting off illnesses and diseases, while reduced blood pressure can help lower your risk of heart disease. These benefits from laughing can help you prevent certain diseases. For example, laughing can help strengthen your immune system to prevent infections and diseases like the common cold, flu, and even the swine flu. By laughing, you can reduce your risk of developing diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Laughing can also help ease the symptoms of illnesses like arthritis, asthma, and chronic pain.
Laughter is one of the oldest and most basic forms of human communication. It has many benefits, including improved immune function, better sleep, and increased social connection. It’s also a great way to relieve stress and improve your mood. While it’s true that laughter is the best medicine, you don’t have to wait until you’re sick to enjoy its benefits. Make time to laugh with friends and family, and you’ll be doing your body a huge favor. And don’t forget, you can always use these science facts to impress your friends and family at parties.