Why We Laugh; Because We Have To

Laughter is something we all enjoy, whether it’s from being tickled to watching your friend fall down without hurting themselves. This important social emotion links us in more ways than you might have ever imagined. It seems that there are two types of laughter, the real type, which is high pitched and uncontrollable, and posed laughter, which is used typically to be polite or hide the fact that we didn’t get the joke. 

Whatever the source, real laughter is contagious, which is a fact that doesn’t need that much proof. Everyone reading this can remember a time when they heard someone else laughing that they too started to crack up. It’s a natural reaction, especially when you are reacting to the laughter of someone you know. 

It seems that we, as humans, are 30% more likely to laugh when with someone is with us rather than when we are alone. That percentage goes up when it’s someone we know, and it increases if that person is someone we love. Humans aren’t the only animals that have this capability.

Rats and chimpanzees laugh. They do it when tickled, and there are even differences in chimpanzee laughs. This is because laughter is a primal connection tool in our society, which explains the sounds we make when we do it. It also cures us of ailments and does a great deal for our attitude and outlook on life.

​Couples who laugh together, even when fighting, have a better chance of staying together. And even if they don’t, during the dark times we need a little laughter, especially when we are stressed. If anything, just to bring in a little bit of light.

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