Why do we laugh?

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Jessica Powlen, Staff Writer

Think of the best times you’ve spent with your favorite person. It’s safe to say the majority of those times were most likely filled with the kind of laughter that made you feel as though you’d gained a six pack, or the kind that may have gotten you into trouble by the teacher or your parent after being asked to stop several times.  You may have marveled upon these circumstances, asking yourself: Why is it when you find something funny, you have a natural instinct to start making noises from your mouth?

We’ve all seen people laugh before, and observed how everyone has a different genre of laugh. There’s the snort, the chuckle, belly laugh, or guffaw.  Everyone alters their facial expressions while laughing and some even add body movements like hitting their leg, rocking back and forth, or flinging their arms around. The combination of all this is simply a way to state that you’re happy and enjoying something.

Of course, everyone laughs and smiles (though there are those few who seem to do it less often.) Everyone laughs because it’s a natural instinct to do so when someone makes a joke, when we’re getting tickled, or even at times just to fill the silence.  Laughing isn’t something we are taught to do. Everyone is born with the natural ability to laugh. It’s normally one of the first things we do as a human being. The majority of our laughter is even done unconsciously. It’s censored by thoughts and sensations of the mind. Laughter is an expression of emotions from human beings to display their inner feelings.  It is a way of communicating, showing that you are comfortable with the person you’re with. It’s our way of communicating that we are happy, a way of socially ending conversations, and making great memories as well as a way of bonding with others.