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The Science of Why Laughter is Good for Us

Updated on April 6, 2015

Laugh Your Heart Out

You know that feeling when you start laughing and you KNOW it's not going to relinquish any time soon? All of a sudden you're doubled over with your hands clenching your stomach, gasping for air because God forbid your brain actually give into your desperate pleas for cease-fire.

Then, when you finally calm down a little, you begin the next stage of the madness: "giggle attacks." You know, when you're physically incapable of halting your laughter for more than 2.5 seconds and then out of nowhere a violent convulsion of laughter erupts with no warning?

And it always happens when it is least convenient! Like sitting in class when your professor is lecturing on a topic as fascinating as dryer lint. Or when you see a hilarious cat picture on the internet and your boss is looking at you suspiciously because you started busting up laughing out of nowhere.

Laughing makes us feel good! It's as if a small fire is lit inside of us and no matter what may be going on in our lives at that moment, we just feel unstoppable! Our souls are on fire, and nothing stands a chance of bringing us down.

Laugh Your Heart Out
Laugh Your Heart Out | Source

A Laughing Matter

Countless medical professionals insist that laughing is extremely beneficial to our health. Much like a workout, laughing makes us move. When we move, our heart rate increases, and when our heart rate increases, we receive more oxygen to the parts of our body that need it most. Not only that, but laughing is also shown to promote a rise in infection-fighting antibodies and increase your levels of immune cells. So, if you're feeling sluggish and on the verge of puffy-eyed, stuffy nose delirium, watch a funny movie and howl your rear end off.

Aside from the physical health benefits, it is our soul that drinks the most from the almighty fountain of laughter. Being in the company of good friends and family is what makes us feel good. Feeling connected to others is what lifts our spirits, puts a spring in our step, and shines some appeasing light into our lives.

Check it out: Laugh Your Way to Happiness: The Science of Laughter for Total Well-Being

Confident and Ready to Take on the World
Confident and Ready to Take on the World | Source

Groan, Grumble, Laugh

Laughing is also great when you're having a horrible day! Take for instance, ahem, today. I woke up, got ready for work, and was genuinely looking forward to the day ahead of me. My hair combed the right way, my chin was held high, and my whole-wheat toast wasn't burnt.Everything was going so well that I pinched my arm just to make sure I wasn't caught up in a really good dream at 2:30 in the morning. Nope - wide awake. So I shrugged my shoulders, pulled on my favorite boots, and headed out to my car.

As cold as it was this morning, I knew my car probably wouldn't start up right away. I turned the key, the radio screeched on, but the engine didn't turn over. Figures. I tried it again. Nope. AND AGAIN. Nothing. And at that moment, I knew my day was shot straight to Hell. I let out a long sigh, bowed my head, and called the towing guy ($$).

From my house, we had my car taken to the mechanic ($$$), and based on the information I provided to him, he said it was most likely the battery, alternator, or the starter ($$$$$$$$$$$). Okay, so I'm overreacting a tad. But wouldn't you if you've forked over more money in repairs than what your car is inevitably worth? It is certainly not a reason to jump up and kick your heels together.

Have you ever just wanted to put on brick on your accelerator and send your car off a cliff?
Have you ever just wanted to put on brick on your accelerator and send your car off a cliff? | Source

So, after the lovely day I've had, I know that the best thing for me to do is take a step back, close my eyes, and inhale deeply. And then, laugh. Find humor in all the glorious garbage that comes with adulthood. Whether it is amusement in the fact that everything in my car worked except for my engine, or that I have invested more money in repairs than what I could sell my car for. Laugh it off.

Because the truth is, the beautiful moments in life will not shine nearly as bright if there were not bad days to compare them to.

A fabulous book to check out: Laughology: Improve Your Life with the Science of Laughter

What Gives You Belly Laughs?

From the list below, what is the one thing/person that can always give you a good laugh?

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Humility - A Grounded Soul

Being humble and exhibiting modesty is a virtue. While egos control much of civilized society, those who exude humility not only set their own souls free, but they set free the uncertainty of others - when you show that you are human, others will admire your grounded soul and your willingness to poise yourself emotionally bare.

When a person is able to stand fourth in front of others with no walls or barriers, they are not showing weakness, but rather commendable purity. Humility is a trait that is learned and one that takes practice.

Ways to Show Humility

  • Apologize – Even when we know we're wrong, it's very difficult to say sorry. It's pretty simple; apologizing is admitting that you made a mistake one way or the other. But think about it: when someone has apologized to you, didn't your whole attitude toward them change?

    You instantly felt a dawning of respect for them because they stepped down from their towering stance and admitted that they were wrong. Humility is apologizing now matter how challenging it may be.

  • Accept an apology – Ever been in a situation where you were wronged by someone close to you and after all of the heated arguments have subsided, they apologize? Then you stand there with your arms crossed thinking, “Okay, they apologized. But they hurt me! I can’t accept their apology because it’s like I’m condoning their wrongful actions! I need to teach them a lesson by standing strong.” That, my friends, is wrong.

    Be humble and accept when someone gives you a genuine apology. They showed humility by admitting their wrongdoing, after all.

  • Put others ahead of you – Humans are selfish by nature. But when you put others’ needs or wants before your own, you're showing them that you care about them, that you can put yourself last in exchange for their own prosperity.

  • Welcome the help of others – If someone is reaching out their hand to help you along, embrace it. Take their hand and let them guide you. Pride is only ever admissible if it is the acknowledgement of something good and noble. But if you're too prideful to accept the help of others, put it aside and welcome their assistance. Wouldn't you want them to do the same?

When humility enters our souls, we are at last able to perceive that we do not live alone in the world but with millions of brothers and sisters, and that hidden in the heart of each is the same animating spirit. U.S. Anderson

Smile and let happiness in.
Smile and let happiness in. | Source

Surrender Your Tight Grip and Let Go

Often times, we place such a staunch grip on our circumstances in order to change them or to keep them exactly how they are. Much like a wet bar of soap, the tighter your hold on any given situation, the easier it will slip away.

Because of how fast-paced society has become, people are constantly on a mission to identify, calculate, repair, and repeat. But when does that ever grant us time to bask in the happy accidents of life? Or relish in the blissful flukes?

Life always tosses unexpected things in our path - some bad, but many times good! However, because we are so fixated on chasing after one thing or concept, we are often blinded from what is already there for us!

Friendship | Source

When you ease your unyielding stance and break free from the tunnel vision every once in a while, you allow some of life's simple beauties to shine through. By letting go sometimes, you expand your sights and are able to see, and consequently appreciate, more of the natural beauty in life that's already there.

  • Take a hike - go out and discover the splendor of the natural world around you. It was all here far before we were and will be here long after we are gone.
  • Pitch a tent - be adventurous and camp outside; even if it's in your own backyard.
  • Star gaze - grab a blanket, a friend, and drive a few miles out of town. Find a spot to place your blanket and lay silently while you look up and admire.
  • Go to a new place and meet new people - often times, the people we meet on a whim are those who surprise us the most and are the ones we remember best.
  • Extend your heart to others - If I can lift the spirits of at least one person, I have conquered the world. Because chances are, they will pass it along.
  • Follow your gut - your instincts are stronger than you think. Trust in your heart and let it guide you.
  • Accept the advice of others - let down your shield of armor and savor the kindness and helping hand of others'.
  • Take a chance - if your mind is steering you in one direction but your heart is pointing you the other way, let your heart guide you once in a while. The greatest things in life happen by taking a chance and strolling along an unexpected path. For me, I took the summer to travel throughout Europe - it was one of the best experiences of my life.

The healthy being craves an occasional wildness, a jolt from normality, a sharpening of the edge of appetite, his own little festival of the Saturnalia, a brief excursion from his way of life. Robert MacIver

What Provides You with the Most Happiness?

Which of the following gives you the greatest feeling of satisfaction?

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Jim Carrey's Commencement Address at the 2014 MUM Graduation

A Piece of Inspiration: Carrey's Commencement Address

Jim Carrey's Commencement Address to the Graduating Class of 2014 from Maharishi University of Management is by far one of the greatest speeches I've ever heard. In his address, Mr. Carrey touches on so many points about overcoming your struggles and finding your happiness in life.

"That peace that we’re after, lies somewhere beyond personality, beyond the perception of others, beyond invention and disguise, even beyond effort itself. You can join the game, fight the wars, play with form all you want, but to find real peace, you have to let the armor fall. Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form. Risk being seen in all of your glory."

© 2012 M Carnahan


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    • Eiddwen profile image


      5 years ago from Wales

      A brilliant hub; loved it and voting up for sure. Now looking forward to so many more.


    • ienjoythis profile imageAUTHOR

      M Carnahan 

      5 years ago from Nevada

      Hi Dianna, thank you so much for the kind words. I'm glad that you read this and that you enjoyed it.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      I love your message. I agree with your view on humility, it is a virtue we should all strive to perfect. I enjoyed your post.

    • Raitu Disong profile image

      Raitu Disong 

      6 years ago

      I enjoy this!

      Great hub, voted up...

    • ienjoythis profile imageAUTHOR

      M Carnahan 

      6 years ago from Nevada

      That is an awesome quote, Benj! :)

    • Benjimester profile image

      Benji Mester 

      6 years ago from San Diego, California

      I like it! Reminds me of something the poet Rumi said:

      "This world is like a tree,

      and we are the half-ripe fruit upon it.

      Unripe fruit clings tight to the branch

      because, immature, it’s not ready for the palace.

      When fruits become ripe, sweet and juicy,

      then biting their lips, they loosen their hold."

    • ienjoythis profile imageAUTHOR

      M Carnahan 

      6 years ago from Nevada

      Pamela, thank you so very much. You are right, attitude is everything. Happiness is a choice that so many choose not to make. Thank you for reading.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      This is a well-written, very good article on such an important topic. You attititude and choices make all the difference on whether you choose to be happy or just miserable over every little slight or problem. Voted up and bautiful.

    • ienjoythis profile imageAUTHOR

      M Carnahan 

      6 years ago from Nevada

      Bill, it has been awhile since I have written. I am working on something now and hopefully will post it soon. I've missed HubPages and hope to begin to contribute more. :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's been awhile since you wrote, Marissa! I had to check and see if I missed anything. I hope all is well with you.

    • ienjoythis profile imageAUTHOR

      M Carnahan 

      6 years ago from Nevada

      Thanks, Sarah!! I'm really glad that you enjoyed it! I hope to write more soon.

    • sarahshuihan profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      Great hub, your writing is getting better and better! Well done!

    • ienjoythis profile imageAUTHOR

      M Carnahan 

      6 years ago from Nevada

      Eddie, I'm really glad that you enjoyed this Hub. This is one that I am quite proud of. And thank you for the kind words :)

    • ienjoythis profile imageAUTHOR

      M Carnahan 

      6 years ago from Nevada

      Rajan, you're absolutely right... these virtues are sure to lead us to happiness at no cost. Thank you so much for reading.

    • eddiecarrara profile image

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 years ago from New Hampshire


      great article, and put together very well. It's a bit scary though, as I was reading, it was almost like you were connecting with my higher spirit, all these thought's you have poured out on to the page is how I live and think. I wish I had half you talent, the way you write is exceptional and thought provoking, a talent that very few of us have, you have a true gift :)

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Marissa, these are virtues that will lead us to being happy inside and cost us nothing. Well written and thanks.

      Voted up and useful.

    • ienjoythis profile imageAUTHOR

      M Carnahan 

      6 years ago from Nevada

      Hey thanks, Dani! Glad you stopped by.

    • Dani Katarina profile image

      Dani Katarina 

      6 years ago from California

      Great article! love your style of writing!

    • ienjoythis profile imageAUTHOR

      M Carnahan 

      6 years ago from Nevada

      shruti, thank you for your kind words. I'm definitely having fun with HP so far. Thank you for reading :)

    • shruti sheshadri profile image

      shruti sheshadri 

      6 years ago from Bangalore, India

      beautifully written marissa! i am glad i came across this on fb! welcome to hubpages, m sure you are going to have loads of fun here! looking forward to reading more from u :)

    • ienjoythis profile imageAUTHOR

      M Carnahan 

      6 years ago from Nevada

      Kas, I'm really glad you enjoyed this article! Thanks for stopping by. Happy Holidays

    • Kasman profile image


      6 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      I really enjoyed your article Marissa, this was a sum up of a lot of what I believe in. In terms of humility, it's something we struggle with every day but I know there was someone greater than me who was the most humble and I want to model that in my own life. You're right on about the laughter part too. Laughter really does bless me and those around me. A good hearty laugh is great for your body, spirit, and soul. Thank you very much for a great read and thanks for following me. God bless, have a great day.

    • ienjoythis profile imageAUTHOR

      M Carnahan 

      6 years ago from Nevada

      Zulma, you're so sweet. I always enjoy your comments and insight. And you're definitely right about learning - it's what makes life interesting. And teaching others is what brings meaning to it all.

    • ienjoythis profile imageAUTHOR

      M Carnahan 

      6 years ago from Nevada

      CrisSp, thank you so much for the kind words :) I'm really glad that you enjoyed it.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      You're right, Marissa, wisdom doesn't have to ride in tandem with age. I suspect, however, you're an old soul who has returned to learn more lessons as well as teach them.

      And yes, belly laughs are the best. When I feel one coming on I just go with the flow. Some much fun.

      Voted up, useful, interesting and shared.

    • CrisSp profile image


      6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Fantastic hub emphasizing balance in life by opening up on laughter and ending up with humility. Way to go on hubbing.

      I like this line: "it is our soul that drinks the most from the almighty fountain of laughter."

      I enjoyed this. Voted up and sharing. Thanks.

    • ienjoythis profile imageAUTHOR

      M Carnahan 

      6 years ago from Nevada

      Awesome!! Thanks, Audrey!! Glad you stopped by.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Lovely!! I am sending this around!!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi enjoyThis !

      So much thoughtful advice from such a young lady !

      I think you'll be an excellent mother.

      Hope you having fun.

    • ienjoythis profile imageAUTHOR

      M Carnahan 

      6 years ago from Nevada

      Warrior, aren't belly laughs the greatest? And thank you for the kind words. Also, I'm a lively 22 year old. :) Wisdom does not have to ride in tandem with age. Although, often times it does.

    • ienjoythis profile imageAUTHOR

      M Carnahan 

      6 years ago from Nevada

      lovedoctor, humility is something we should all practice. Thank you reading.

    • ienjoythis profile imageAUTHOR

      M Carnahan 

      6 years ago from Nevada

      Elena, thank you. Most people don't think of humility as a good thing, but it is. It is a virtue. Thank you coming by and reading.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      This is an excellent hub and very well written! And you're only 20? My you have a bright future!

      I just love those belly laughs you mentioned. The ones that hurt your belly, your cheeks and have tears running down your face. Then 5 minutes later, out of the clear blue, it starts all over again! I used to share an office with a co-worker and we'd roar into those belly laughs quite frequently. Ah, those were the days....

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      A very good lesson on humility.

    • Lady_E profile image


      6 years ago from London, UK

      Laughter is good medicine.... I like the Humility part you added. It's a beautiful quality to have. Great Hub.

      Rated Up and "beautiful"

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Let me know when you are ready for the next lesson. :) You are doing well.

    • ienjoythis profile imageAUTHOR

      M Carnahan 

      6 years ago from Nevada

      Bill, thank you. But I could never surpass the need for you help and wisdom. :) You are a great friend.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Marissa, I don't think you need my help any longer. The student has become the teacher. :)

      Excellent article; very profound. And look at it! Visually pleasing in every way. Bravo my young, wise friend.


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