“I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out my nose.”
~ Woody Allen
Who doesn’t like to laugh? Seriously?
Laughter is contagious; you can catch it without asking for it, or even necessarily wanting it. Now scientists are learning why.
In findings published in The Journal of Neuroscience, researchers from University College London have found that positive sounds such as laughter or a triumphant “woo hoo!” trigger strong responses in listener’s brains. They report this is one of the reasons that we respond to laughter or cheering with an involuntary smile. These brain based triggers prime our face muscles to respond to what we hear.
You’ve likely heard this: 13 muscles are used to smile, but 47 are required for frowning. When we blend science and statistics, you have to smile nearly a quarter of a million times to create one wrinkle. Sounds to me like a well-earned wrinkle!
Before you read on, click here, wait a moment for the short audio file to load, listen, and then observe your reaction.
So…did you smile; maybe even snicker?
For you testosterone-laden readers (and as a general rule), in Western culture, only women are allowed to lose control while men are expected to be more in control. It’s very frightening for many men to “lose it.” Laughing is an actual loss of physical control. Most of us have laughed until we cried or fallen out of our chairs. And wasn’t it fun?! You literally lose muscle control.
Those of you wanting to reconnect with your laughing path, look yourself in the eye in the mirror and with your most serious face – say “tee-hee,”(maybe even a couple of times) and see what happens.
Or, take a look at the following photo. At the very least, he brings a smile to your face, doesn’t he? Imagine what his laughter sounds like…