How Laughter Works

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How Laughter Works
Claudia Carnessali
Selby-College Comp

The essay that I chose from the book was the one by Marshall Brain “How Laughter Works”. I chose to write about this essay because this one is more in depth of where laughter actually comes from how its more than just jokes that people laugh at every day. Start off with a dash of sarcasm and a dash of vulgarity. At least that’s what my friends and I do. Laughter is a form of enjoyment towards one another. Means we are remotely comfortable to be openly laughing at something. Laughter is defined as “A voluntary reaction to certain external or internal stimuli.” It is also most commonly considered a visual expression of a number of positive emotional states such as joy, mirth, happiness, relief etc. Laughter usually occurs when one is comfortable to be around another person. Researchers believe that the purpose of laughter is related to making and strengthening human connections. A psychological study showed that laughter has its own name - gelotology. Gelotology is from the Greek word “gelos” meaning laughter. Brain mentions people that are ticklish often wonder “Why can’t I tickle myself?” In order for tickling to work the brain needs tension and surprise. Obviously when you try to tickle yourself you know its coming so the brain does not react to you tickling yourself. But if someone starts to tickle you, your brain has that surprise and then you tense up. This made sense to me but not completely. Laughter also benefits one’s health and fight disease. The purpose of laughter is to relieve ourselves from stress of everyday life and laughter also increases our white blood cells and our immune system. Laughter releases endorphin which is the body’s natural pain killer and so is a pleasant act, producing a general feeling of well-being. Mental health professionals are suggesting “laughter therapy”, which teaches the patients to laugh at things that are not usually funny. It also helps the patients...
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