Let’s look at some fun facts about why we laugh and its benefits.
Laughing is an action that can be looked at physiologically, psychologically, and socially. Physiologically, we know that we laugh because our bodies release a physical reaction from our respiratory system that lets out an auditory sound similar to “ha-ha” or “he-he” (Stearns, 1972). Psychologically, we most often laugh because we are confronted with some positive emotion, such as joy or amusement. However, laughing may also be a psychological response when we are surprised or embarrassed (Gregory, 2013). And from a social context and human behavior standpoint, laughter is often triggered by positive interactions with other humans which can offer bonding, emotional intimacy, and acceptance from others (Scott et al., 2014).
Laughter research suggests that the evolution of human laughter began more than ten million years ago (Ross, Owren, & Zimmermann, 2009). However, as psychological, and scientific research has advanced, particularly in the past century, gelotology, or the study of laughter, is still a growing field of study.
Here are some historical tidbits about laughter, dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Even though laughter has most likely been a daily occurrence in our lives since we were wee-little infants in diapers, hopefully, you learned something new today about laughing.
Pamela (Pami) Parker currently serves as a holistic practitioner, coach and teacher. Her intention is to be a compassionate guide to those who choose to experience a healthier, happier and more peaceful way of life.