We are not the only species to laugh, apparently 65 species have been identified as having “laughter” vocalisations from chimpanzees, to dolphins, to birds (reference Naturebangs Radio 4).


We know that children laugh and smile about 300 times a day compared to adults who only average 4 times a day! Does that make us miserable? No, it doesn’t but it does raise the point of are we laughing enough?

boy laughing

What makes you laugh?  A 3 year old finds many situations such as “peek a boo” hilarious whereas adults have to search out their laughter through comedy or television.  Perhaps you know someone who laughing comes easy to them.

Laughter plays a purpose to enhance social belonging, to help us feel better and is a way of lowering stress levels.  Laughter with others shows affection, agreement or understanding but it can also be a way of covering up feeling upset, angry or anxious.

Apparently, there are two type of laughter – involuntary laughing when it just comes out of nowhere and you can’t stop giggling or belly laughing.  Recently, with a friend, I was at an attraction and we walked into a hall of mirrors. The shapes that we saw ourselves in the mirrors was, for us, hilarious and we couldn’t stop laughing – something so simple yet so funny.

The other type of laughing is voluntary but not necessarily conscious – when we laugh to join in with others, to be affirmative or to be in agreement.

laughing man

Laughter and playfulness is good for us, it can reduce adrenalin and, over time, cortisol and enhance endorphins.  Laughter makes us feel good, young at heart, less stressed and strengthen relationships.

(Photo credit Dolphin – Lipe)

Dolphin laughing

Can you up your laughter intake?  Without specifically seeking out funny situations are there times where you could choose to see the funny side? Recently I made stock from vegetables and bones which takes at least an hour of gentle simmering only to strain it into a colandar without putting another bowl underneath to catch the liquid.  Yes, annoying but I choose to see the funny side of it!

Perhaps spending more time with people that make you laugh and being around children and young animals will contribute to your laughter count for the day.

However, you increase your laughter intake, chuckle, giggle, chortle, guffaw – have fun!