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