Have you ever had an interesting thought about laughter and wondered if it is true or not? Then, you have come to the right place!
In our list of eleven intriguing questions about laughter, we will be debunking well-known myths, bringing scientific facts, and even some fascinating historical facts to the table.
Without much introductory talk, let’s get into these questions and see how much you knew about such an ordinary thing – laughter.
Let’s get started!
#1 – Is it good for your heart to laugh?
Yes, laughing is excellent for your heart health! It benefits it in many ways:
- Laughing helps improve your body’s overall vascular function since it temporarily increases our heart rate, allowing more oxygenated blood to flow through our system.
- As a continuation of the previous point, improved vascular function facilitated by laughing reduces your risk of heart disease.
- Laughing reduces our stress levels by releasing endorphins and relaxing our entire body. Consequentially, the lack of negative tensions and stress helps restore our normal and healthy heart function.
We have actually written an entire article on the physical and mental benefits of laughter.
#2 – Can you get abs by laughing?
While laughing does engage your abdominal muscles quite a bit, you probably cannot get visible abs simply by laughing. The popular six-pack is best attained by a combination of a healthy diet, adequate rest, and a structured training regimen.
That being said, studies have shown that laughing engages the internal obliques, an important muscle group in your core, more so than doing crunches!
Still, take this with a grain of salt. Laughing is healthy in many ways, but you cannot skip your gym session for the day just because you laughed a lot with your friends this morning!
#3 – What does it mean if I laugh for no reason?
There are many odd situations in which we laugh, seemingly without any reason. However, that is rarely the case – there is almost always something causing you to burst into laughter.
You can check out our guide that will help you battle laughing at inappropriate times:
If you genuinely find yourself laughing for no reason often, you might have a pseudobulbar affect (PBA). It is a rare medical condition that causes you to frequently burst into uncontrollable laughter, often leading to tears.
In such cases, please consult with your doctor as soon as possible, as we are not qualified to offer advice on medical conditions.
#4 – Does laughing clear your lungs?
Yes, in a way, laughing helps clear your lungs from residual air. When you laugh for extended periods of time, you exhale more air than you normally would by regular breathing.
By doing so, you “clear out” your lungs of the residual air, allowing it to be replaced with fresh oxygen.
#5 – Does laughing relieve pain?
According to some studies, laughing can help relieve pain in short-term, and increase your overall pain tolerance long-term.
Thomas Benz from RehaClinic Zurzach in Switzerland even recommends incorporating laughter into pain therapy for people dealing with chronic pain.
The explanation for this is relatively simple: laughter facilitates the release of endorphins, in turn relieving muscular tension and making us feel better overall.
#6 – Who said laughter is the best medicine?
We do not know who the first person who called laughter the best medicine was. However, the earliest proof of using laughter in medical therapy goes back to Henri de Mondeville.
Henri was a professor of surgery who recommended using laughter in recovery therapy after operations back in the 1300s!
#7 – How much energy does it take to laugh?
According to a study on energy expenditure of genuine laughing, we know that 15 minutes of laughter spends anywhere between 10 to 40 kcal or 40 to 170 kJ of energy.
As you can see, it cannot be an effective fat loss tool, nor can you consider laughing a cardio session. Still, there are many other benefits of laughing more frequently that have nothing to do with how many calories you burn.
#8 – When did humans start laughing?
According to the most recent research, the common ancestors of humans and modern great apes started laughing around 10 to 16 million years ago! However, the scientists were unable to answer why the unusual acoustic properties of laughing even appeared among our ancestors.
The most common hypothesis is that laughter originated from playful behavior, such as tickling, which reinforced social bonds. Hence, laughter played a vital role in building social connections even very early on.
Another fun fact that we now know is that the sounds of our ancestors’ laughter were probably longer and slower than ours today. This means that even the sound of our laughter probably significantly evolved over time.
#9 – Why do I run out of breath when laughing?
When you laugh, your lungs expel the stale air since you exhale more forcefully than during regular breathing. This creates a need for fresh oxygen to enter your lungs, causing shortness of breath.
In addition to this, we have already discussed the abdominal muscles contractions that happen during laughter. These contractions force your lungs to work harder, just as with any other form of conventional exercise.
#10 – Why does laughing make me cry?
There are several possible reasons why laughing may make you cry:
- We often contract many facial muscles when we laugh, including those around our eyes. These muscle contractions may put tension on our tear ducts, causing a few tears to run down our cheeks.
- Both laughter and crying release endorphins, the feel-good hormones in our body which help regulate our stress levels. Perhaps combined, they become a powerful tool for our body to battle overwhelming stress and tension.
- Another theory talks about the hypothalamus, an area in our brain that is responsible for many emotions. Since laughing are crying are closely tied together here, it may be possible they induce one another in some situations.
#11 – Can you have a laughing disorder?
Yes, it is possible to have a laughing disorder called pseudobulbar affect (PBA). As we have already explained above, this unusual disorder causes uncontrollable laughter or crying for seemingly no reason.
You can read more about this medical condition here.
We hope you’ve had fun going through the list. Now, we would like to hear from you:
What was the most surprising answer on the list?
Do you know any more interesting facts about laughter or humor?
Let us know by dropping a comment below right away!