Understanding Laughter

family fun

Laughter has become a natural instinct; the blind, deaf, even some infants laugh before they are 2 months old. It is more common we laugh in social settings than when we’re alone. Even laughing gas loses it’s “oomph” when taken in solitude.

Men claim to chuckle and women claim to giggle yet most laughter isn’t from jokes but from spending time with family and friends. Humour helps us to build stronger connections and to build rapport.

Laughter harmlessly releases negative emotions such as anger, sadness and fear. If you can laugh at a situation your upsets may not seem as important as they once did. Finding humour in our circumstances can help us to cope with the stress or even relieve most of the tension. Laughter can be of the “ha-ha-ha” variety or the “ho-ho-ho” type but not a mixture of both.

Humour increases learning and retention, not to mention it’s engaging and uses the whole brain. Some professors or teachers use humour in their lectures as a means of controlling the emotional climate of a group.

There are several obvious differences in what people find humorous, the most significant seems to be age. From infants and children our appreciation for “toilet humour”, pre-teens/teenage years tend to laugh at jokes that focus on sex, food and any subject that adults consider off-limits to mature adults where our sense of humour is more developed. As mature adults we tend to laugh at other people and ourselves in shared common predicaments and embarrassments. Basically we laugh at issues that stress us out.

Another factor determining what’s funny to us or not is culture. There are economic, political and social issues that are not easy to laugh at which only people living in that culture can understand. United States may be the exception of this rule due to the much observed media and movies. Most people know what’s going on there so jokes about the United States are shared and enjoyed pretty much across the globe.

For someone to take offense to a joke he/she must have some attachment to the principle or the person is being put down in the joke. Racist and sexist jokes are offensive to many people who feel strongly about fighting bigotry and prejudice in the world so they should be avoided altogether.

“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color the world. Constantly use gray colors and your picture will always be dark and depressing. Use humor to add bright colors and your picture begins to lighten up” – Allen Klein

Start laughing at life. Laugh at the stresses, laugh at the uncommon, laugh through the hard times, laugh through the good times. Laughing can be a life-saver easing stress, lowering blood pressure and elevating your mood. Laughing has a cleansing effect similar to deep-breathing allowing us to rejuvenate and regenerate our energy. Laughing makes us feel good and allows us to have fun while also connecting to those around us.

existing peacefully

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