Here’s an unfortunate fact. Research carried out by psychologist Robert Provine found that your average four year old will laugh approximately 300 times per day. Sadly, an adult will laugh only 20 times a day (Source: mentalfloss).
Doesn’t seem right, does it?
Laughter is an essential part of our livelihood. It contributes to our mood, reduces stress and pain levels, fights off infection, stimulates organs and increases relaxation (Source: psychologytoday). In fact, elderly optimists have been found to reduce the risk of dying from causes that most pessimistic people pass from, all due to their humorous perceptions on life (Source: wonderslist).
Another interesting fact – laughter helps with short term memory. Research in older adults found that those exposed to comedy before conducting a memory test performed better when compared to a control group who sat calmly before the test (Source: pubmed).
So, at what point did we stop laughing? Provine says that your peak age for laughter is at five years old. That sounds WAY too soon for my liking.
As adults, we’re clearly trying to hold onto our inner child by surrounding ourselves with fun and laughter. In fact, 50% of patrons who enter Disney Parks are actually adults with no children (Source: theplantain).
So how do we as adults work on increasing the laughter in our life? Thinking about this, I had to go back to times where my friends/family and I were rolling around in stitches.
- Seek out funny friends/family. Surrounding yourself with laughter increases your laughing quota
- Pull out your photo album for a session of nostalgia. Think school formal photos, school dances, birthday parties and primary school class photos
- Trends from certain decades that you embraced e.g. matching outfits with siblings
- Think about old crushes and how your taste has changed over the years
- Homemade family videos
- Comedy TV or movies you haven’t watched in ages (Mr Bean never gets old!)
- Holiday stories
- Even something as silly as pulling out the old whoopee cushion can provide some light hearted comedy (even for a few seconds)
- Join a laughter club
The point is to start laughing again. Get those endorphins pumping to reduce the stress in your day and take some time to yourself to have a good old chuckle.
We want to know, what makes you laugh? Share your thoughts here.