AN AMAZING FACT: Women laugh more than men do.
A hearty laugh spreads faster than the flu and quickly involves your whole body. First, your epiglottis begins to vibrate, half-closing over your larynx and making breathing difficult. When strong enough, the struggle for air activates your tear ducts. Laughter engages muscles all over your body—15 in your face alone.
It’s unclear why women laugh more than men, but research shows women’s brains are generally more responsive to emotional stimuli and suggests gender helps determine how our brains respond to humor. Regardless of who’s doing it, the average adult laughs 15 times a day.
Children are attributed 400 laughs per day. This figure is unsubstantiated, but a study at one nursery school revealed 18.4 to 45 incidents of “glee” per child per hour. Perhaps their teacher was a comedian, but these kids have the right idea!
Science confirms the merry heart’s benefits. Laughter lowers blood pressure and enhances immune function. The physiological opposite of stress, laughter stimulates the circulatory and digestive systems that stress suppresses. Bringing you into the present moment, laughter precludes worry about the past or future. It releases endorphins, diminishing pain and heightening feelings of well-being. A good laugh relaxes muscles for up to 45 minutes. By toning and firming facial muscles, laughter can fight aging. It has been called “internal jogging,” increasing the heart rate in one minute as much as 10 minutes on an exercise machine. Laughter also boosts energy, inspires hope, and fosters intimacy.
So go have a good laugh … and enjoy the abundant life Jesus promised!
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. Proverbs 15:13 All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15