A Funny Thing Happened…

Laughing babies: the ancient practice of forcing strangers to look at pictures of your children basi

I’ve been thinking about laughter lately, and not just in regard to my reading and writing. I’ve been noticing how moments of genuine laughter make me feel warm and happy and exhausted in a good way.

So, what is it about laughter?

Here’s a little bit of randomness I discovered:

Laughter is a contagious, involuntary response. Ever had the giggle snorts during an important meeting, and the person sitting next to you begins to do the same thing, even though they don’t have a clue why you’re doing it? Ever watched a newscast when one reporter starts laughing and the others follow? Yep, contagious and involuntary.

Snoopy he he he

Laughter releases endorphins, which can produce all sorts of wacky but beneficial biochemical changes in the body. These include increased blood flow, relieved pain, and an improved immune system.

Laughter can also burns calories.

Most daily laughter occurs during everyday social situations, not as a result of things like jokes or funny movies.

The study of laughter is called gelotology. (Yes, there is such a thing.)

Some experts believe that we laughed more in the past than today  – 20 minutes daily back in the 1950s compared to 6 minutes today. (Okay, I don’t know how they got these stats, but it’s still a curious thing to me.)

The first Sunday of May every year is known as World Laughter Day.


This year, I want to pay attention and laugh more. Every day. I think Dr. Seuss said it best:

From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.

When was the last time you really laughed?

Smiling Ostrich


Laughing baby photo by Constance Bannister. Snoopy from socialtimes.com. Smiley face from smscs.com. Smiling Ostrich by Jamie Hanson.

This entry was posted in Encouragement, Random Stuff, Reflections and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A Funny Thing Happened…

  1. L. Marie says:

    Love this!!! And what a good question: “When was the last time you really laughed?” I’m trying to remember. Sigh. And if I have to try to remember, it must not have been recently. I could use some endorphins.


  2. skvanzandt says:

    Thanks, Linda! 🙂


  3. laurasibson says:

    Yesterday while watching Psych with my 17 year old. I used to take myself so darn seriously, but it’s exhausting being a Very Serious Person. Writing YA is part of my transformation. YA can very serious, but there seems to be more opportunity for fun. And it’s why I watch TV shows that my teen boys watch. Teen boys know how to laugh! Thanks for this post.


  4. Martha Moore says:

    Interesting! I like the idea of looking for humor. Sounds like a journal idea. It would be challenging to see the humor in situations that don’t seem humorous. Great blog.


  5. sandranickel says:

    You have made me smile and laugh–how can anyone resist the ostrich!–and I’m going to try to up my laughter today and the entire week–my entire life. Thanks so much Sharon!


    • skvanzandt says:

      Sandra! Yes to looking for more opportunities to laugh. I think sometimes we rush about taking care of so many things that we forget about paying attention to those moments that can bring us joy and laughter. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I hope all is well with you!


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