There are several theories trying to explain why we, humans laugh. One of the most accepted theories on why we laugh tells us that this trait evolved as a way of telling group members “everything is fine”. Imagine this situation; a group of early humans are out hunting, they are prowling in bushes, following their dangerous prey and one of them gets startled by something moving out of the bushes. After the immediate shock the group member realizes that it is just a small animal that poses no danger. He laughs because he was startled by something so small, immediately signals to the group that there is no danger.
This of course is just one explanation among many but one common thing among almost all of those is that, humans use laughing as a way of communication with their peers.
We are not the only species that laughs, Chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos and orangutans all show laughter like reactions which is very similar to ours. This is no surprise considering how similar those animals are to us. It also very interesting, that rats and dogs show signs of laughter which is quite different from ours, but signal similar emotion.
Interesting stuff about laughing doesn’t end there. The most interesting facts about laughing are the effects on health.
Yes, you have read that right. If you didn’t know, laughing has lots of positive effects on human health.
- Laughing lowers your blood pressure and relaxes your whole body.
- Laughing strengthens your diaphragm and abdominal muscles but also your facial, leg and back muscles.
- Laughing has positive effects on your hormonal balance and also acts as a pain-suppressor.
- Laughter protects the heart; since it works your heart just like a workout does and increases blood flow.
- Laughing boosts your immune system, because it decreases stress and therefore helps your body fight antibodies.
Those are not the only benefits of laughing, especially when it comes to social interaction. It is a known fact that laughing or smiling can make you more attractive in the eyes of the opposite gender.
Laughing as a group also brings members of the group closer to one and other.
Start laughing now!
It is easier said than done but considering the benefits of laughing; you should start incorporating it more in your life!
Here are some tips to make you laugh more and make you laugh better!
- Smile! Smiling more leads to laughing more!
- Surround yourself with people you enjoy being around. Your general level of happiness will reflect the amount you laugh and vice versa.
- Do “laughing yoga” sessions.
- Think of something funny, if you cannot, watch something funny!
- Laugh with your whole body. Laughing is a physical exercise!
- Build your own sense of humour. You don’t have to laugh at anything and everything but stuff you find funny!
- Have fun! Try to enjoy whatever it is you are doing! Remember, everything can be fun with the right mindset.
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