Laughing is a great way to release stress and feel better. Laughing is a body’s response to things that cause amusement. Laughter usually follows after a person has heard something funny, said something they believe to be humorous, or done something that evokes laughter. If you are feeling down or stressed out, try laughing at yourself or something silly going on in your life. Laughing often leads to deep breathing which helps the body release endorphins, the “happy hormones”. Therefore, no wonder that you will be less anxious or sad after laughing.
Behind the great benefits from laughing, there are many unique facts about laughing you may never know. In this article, we will explain some unusual facts about laughing and some impacts you will get physically and mentally. Whether you want to know about the science behind laughter or just want to know trivia facts, this article will satisfy your curiosity. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- 1. Humans Laugh Before They Learn To Speak
- 2. Rats and Monkeys Can Laugh
- 3. Same Sense of Humor Strengthens A Couple’s Relationship
- 4. Laughter Controls Your Brain
- 5. Laughing Burn Calories
- 6. Laughter Releases Your Stress Response
- 7. When Laughing Hard, Your Pleura Inflamed
- 8. Laughing Prevents Heart Disease
- 9. You Can Laugh When You Are Too Sad
- 10. Laughing Hard Can Cause You To Pee
- 11. Pseudobulbar Affect, The Laugh Disease
- 12. Laughing Can Increase 10% Pain Tolerance
- 13. Reflex Tears are Produced While Laughing
- 14. Children Laugh More Often Than Adult
- 15. Excessive Laughter Can Cause Death
1. Humans Laugh Before They Learn To Speak
Just like a baby who learns how to laugh first then speaks after he is born, human evolution also explains the same way. Before humans acquired the lung strength for language, some experts think that humans first connected with one another through laughter millions of years ago.
According to a study of giggling monkeys by Current Biology, the first hoots of laughter from an ancient progenitor of humans reverberated throughout the land at least 10 million years ago. Babies as young as 17 days old have been seen laughing because laughter is so embedded in their brains. In actuality, hearing and sight-impaired newborns also can still chuckle.
2. Rats and Monkeys Can Laugh
Many researchers have successfully “tickle-induced vocalized” primates, according to National Geography. The only known animals to experience laughter are apes and rats. The well-known western lowland gorilla named Koko from California-based Gorilla Foundation can chuckle. Additionally, the great ape has a unique “ho ho” laugh for guests that she particularly enjoys.
An article in Science claims that rats have the ability to chuckle. Tickling them is the best approach to encourage them to comply. Rats that have been tickled generate pleasant noises, according to a psychologist and neuroscientist at Washington State University in Pullman.
3. Same Sense of Humor Strengthens A Couple’s Relationship
According to a study from Robert Levinson, a psychology professor at The University of California, the same sense of humor may affect long lasting relationships. Levinson welcomed couples into his lab and asked each partner to talk about anything about the other partner that bothered them. In addition to feeling better right away, the couples who laughed their way through the stressful scenario reported higher levels of relationship satisfaction and stayed together longer than the couples who didn’t grin.
Moreover, humor may help marriage couples to strengthen relationships according to Psychology Today. Men may use comedy to divert attention away from relationship issues, maybe in an effort to lessen their own worry. Women, on the other hand, might utilize comedy to ease a situation and encourage reconciliation.
4. Laughter Controls Your Brain
Laughter causes the brain to activate in several different areas. It stimulates the limbic system which governs happy emotions, the frontal lobe which aids in context understanding, and the motor cortex which regulates muscle movement. All of these circuits being active improves neuronal connections and aids in the coordination of an active brain.
Similar to how antidepressants work, laughter may help regulate serotonin levels in the brain. It reduces the amount of neurotransmitters and chemicals like cortisol released by your brain in reaction to threats, which prevents them from wearing down your immune, metabolic, and cardiovascular systems over time. Laughter acts as an antidote to stress, which weakens these systems and makes them more susceptible to disease.
5. Laughing Burn Calories
As it gives the body a brief cardiovascular workout, laughing does in fact burn calories. Laughter reduces the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which slows metabolism and deposits fat in the stomach. This means that laughing will naturally increase your metabolism, which will cause your body to burn more calories and help you lose weight.
A Vanderbilt University study found that just 10 to 15 minutes of laughing each day can burn up to 40 calories. The increase in heart rate and oxygen use during these amusing times, according to researchers, increased the burn.
6. Laughter Releases Your Stress Response
Laughter boosts the amount of oxygen-rich air you breathe in, stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles, and raises the amount of endorphins your brain releases. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter also releases the neurotransmitter dopamine. Those hormones act as a reward for the brain, induce joy, and play a key role in your urge to keep doing what we’re doing.
Moreover, a hearty laugh can raise and then lower your heart rate and blood pressure, as well as start and then stop your stress response. Additionally, laughter can increase blood flow and promote muscular relaxation, both of which might lessen some of the physical signs and symptoms of stress.
7. When Laughing Hard, Your Pleura Inflamed
Have you ever wondered why you feel hurt when laughing too hard? You’ll likely experience a severe, stabbing pain in the affected area whenever you laugh. Especially when you laugh too hard, your rib cage begins to contract, which can cause the intercostal muscles, which are situated between the ribs, to ache intensely. According to Scienceabc, every time your lungs expand, the pleurae that are enlarged and inflamed brush against one another in a highly unpleasant way.
In addition, laughing causes your diaphragm to rapidly work, which causes pain in the intercostal muscles and a pain in your stomach. The diaphragm continues to work normally because the smaller chortles and chuckles are less taxing on it.
8. Laughing Prevents Heart Disease
According to Henry Ford Health, your heart rate rises and you take several deep breaths when you laugh. This will enhance your vascular function by increasing the amount of oxygenated blood that is circulated throughout your body. Your risk of being diagnosed with heart disease might be decreased with improved vascular function and circulation. In addition, your heart is kept working steadily with enough blood supply.
Additionally, the endorphin that is released when you laugh might momentarily relieve pain and safeguard your heart by lowering blood pressure. Your risk of heart attack and stroke decreases when you lower your blood pressure.
9. You Can Laugh When You Are Too Sad
A highly stressful and emotionally charged scenario is totally normal to cause one to laugh when feeling sad. Because you’re in an uneasy situation, you also might laugh. You may also chuckle if you see someone else crying or if you sense melancholy rising inside of you. However, how can that happen?
According to studies from Psychology Today, this is generally how your subconscious calms your concerns and persuades you that everything is actually fine. Sometimes you chuckle because you are shocked by what you see and are having problems accepting it. So, by laughing it off, you remove ourselves from the dread or sorrow of the situation.
10. Laughing Hard Can Cause You To Pee
In fact, 66 percent of women report having bladder leakage, which can happen when they laugh, exercise, cough, or in any other number of situations, according to Kegebell. When the bladder experiences a sudden pressure spike from those activities, the pelvic floor muscles are insufficient to support the bladder, causing urine to leak from the bladder. Additionally, fecal or gas incontinence might cause this.
Furthermore, the inadvertent loss of pee is known as urinary incontinence. When you laugh too hard, the stress on your bladder causes you to leak urine. This condition is known as stress incontinence. Stress-related incontinence is unrelated to emotional stress.
11. Pseudobulbar Affect, The Laugh Disease
When you see people who can’t control their laugh, they might suffer Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA). PBA episodes of spontaneous, uncontrollable, and inappropriate crying or laughter are the hallmarks of the illness. People who have specific neurological disorders or injuries, which may impair how the brain governs emotion, are more likely to have pseudobulbar affect.
PBA is frequently misdiagnosed or confused with mood disorders. You will experience emotions normally if you have pseudobulbar affect, but you may occasionally express them in an overly dramatic or inappropriate manner. As a result, the disease may make you feel uncomfortable and interfere with your everyday activities.
12. Laughing Can Increase 10% Pain Tolerance
According to experts from Oxford University, laughing and being humorous might boost one’s tolerance for pain. This is a result of the endorphins that are released, which aid to relax the muscles. In addition, a person’s pain threshold is increased by an average of 10% after laughing with friends for about 15 minutes.
Both in the lab and in realistic settings, social laughter improves pain thresholds. The findings in both instances supported the notion that laughter greatly raises pain thresholds. Pain thresholds did not alter when participants saw material that did not often cause laughter.
13. Reflex Tears are Produced While Laughing
Do you know why sometimes you cry while laughing? Many of your face muscles, notably those around the eyes, can tighten up when you laugh a lot. According to Salusu Health, the tears may simply be forced out of your eyes since loud laughter can place too much strain on your tear ducts.
Another theory is that with vigorous laughter, the brain sends signals to the tear ducts. As a result of an external stimulus, such as walking in a brisk wind or getting dust or grit in your eyes, the tears that are generated in this situation are referred to as reflex tears.
14. Children Laugh More Often Than Adult
According to research from the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor, youngsters can laugh up to 300 times every day, which is far more than the average adult chuckle of 17.5 times. This is because children typically worry less throughout the day than adults do. Moreover, children spend Monday through Friday with their friends, whereas adults must make plans to get together for coffee when they need some social time.
The idea is that as people mature, they somehow become overly serious and stop being able to joke. Therefore, by being more playful and hilarious, adults should try to reclaim the delight they once had as children.
15. Excessive Laughter Can Cause Death
One of the finest cures for a bad mood is laughter, however excessive laughter may result in potentially fatal illnesses. Some narcolepsy patients report brief unconsciousness that is brought on by laughter or other powerful emotions, according to Healthline. People have also been known to swoon from laughter, which can result in injuries. Uncontrollable laughter can be a symptom of several extremely uncommon, deadly brain disorders.
In 1975, BBC reported Mr. Mitchell’s passing after viewing The Goodies for 30 minutes and chuckling. His relatives initially assumed it was a heart attack. Doctors later discovered that his granddaughter has inherited his heart problems that may cause his fatal condition from laughing too much.