Did you know that laughter is the physiological response to humour?
Research has shown that laughter can have many great effects on our mind and body. There is a wide range of health benefits that come from laughing, such as:
- Enhanced mood
- Decrease in the stress hormone cortisol
- Lowered cholesterol
- Increased immunity
- Decrease in the hunger hormones
- Lowered blood pressure
Interestingly, laughter consists of two parts – a set of gestures and the production of sound. When we laugh, the brain pressures us to conduct both these activities simultaneously and when we truly laugh hard, changes occur in the body – even within the arms, legs and trunk muscles.
There are a number of variables to be aware of when analyzing laughter:
- We are 30 times more likely to laugh at something when we are with friends, as opposed to being alone
- Laughter signals safety; it evolved from social play to show that we were safe
- It’s universal – people from far and wide all understand its meaning
- Laughter needs to be authentic as the brain can tell when it’s fake
Even anticipating laughter reduces the stress hormone, so ensure you get some laughter into your week!
Need a laugh? Have a browse through the GrownUps humour section for jokes and videos.