Laughing without telling jokes

We can laugh without relying on jokes, or if we are concerned that others will not understand the joke: we don’t really need encouragement to laugh with our friends. In fact, social laughter often has less to do with humor and more to do with bonding.

In one study, American psychologist Robert Provine observed 1,200 examples of spontaneous laughter in natural conversations and noted what the speaker had said immediately before the listener laughed. He found that only 10 to 15 percent of the pre-laugh comments could be described as “remotely funny.”

On the other hand, and much more often, people laughed in response to banal comments like “It was nice meeting you too” or “Where have you been?” The funny thing is that this kind of laughter can be pleasant. And it’s an important finding because it shows us that it really doesn’t matter what we laugh about, what matters is that we laugh.

What’s also surprising is that Provine found that speakers laugh more than listeners. So we should laugh a little more when we speak and make a conscious effort to laugh when we hear someone laugh. This of course, as long as it’s appropriate since, for example, laughing out loud when you meet someone for the first time could scare him or her.

There are other examples of formal practices in where we can laugh with others without an encouragement, such as a joke. Like laughter yoga for example, invented in 1995 by doctor Madan Katarina in India. A surefire remedy for depression and feelings of loneliness. Buy why is it so effective?

It turns out that once one person laughs, others start laughing too. Today, laughter yoga integrates a variety of playful movements and exercises, such as encouraging participants to speak gibberish (nonsensical chatter) to keep laughter flowing. Less well known is laughter qigong, in which a series of body and breathing movements are combined with simulated laughter.

All in all, there is a lot of funny ways to improve your mood, getting a healthier and happier life. We gave you some of them, make sure to try them out!


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You can learn more about Paul McGhee here.