The Science behind Laughter

Sudden ignition of the frontal lobe, neural discharge with simultaneous contraction of the facial muscles–signal to the brain stem for controlling lung function–diaphragm enforces air out in the larynx–vibration of vocal chords– and Voila! That’s how you laugh!

We connect through laughter, laughing on the same matter indicates the same way of thinking like being on the same page. Like, don’t we have our inside jokes with our best friends or siblings? It is a defining feature of social bonding. This just answers that involuntary laugh we experience when everyone around is laughing too!

That’s not all. Just as how laughter brings people in a group close, it also drives people not a part of it further. This sense of unfamiliarity is also seen in what researchers call the ‘superiority laugh’. This is expressed in ridiculing, looking down upon someone or outcasting. Though, their effects aren’t always as serious as they sound and can be as innocent as a sibling laughing on another’s stupidity.
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Laughter is a medium of expressing our innate emotions, these grunts and cackles direct us to our animal conscious. In laughter, we vent out all that is embedded in us. That is why we see people laughing not only in humour but in moments bizarre or unexpected. But then what about that laugh in the middle of funerals and all those really grim situations? No, that doesn’t mean you’re a jerk. Well, laughing is indeed activated by our nervous system to handle emotional reactions to stressful situations. This way our hormones try to act as our natural stress buster.
What more? Laughter activates the same hormones which are secreted while exercising. Comprendo? Laughing burns fat! That too not just the stretching or strolling kind, but a 100 laughs are capable of burning calories equal to a 15-minute bike ride. That is the strength of laughter or as the famous Dr. Kataria says- One may die because of laughter but millions certainly can because of the lack of it.
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About Vishakha Khanolkar

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