World Laughter Day is a global celebration of laughter, smiling and of all things positive!

World Laughter Day can be celebrated by anyone, but it is mostly observed in cities where large groups of people gather to laugh together, spread some joy and bond. Laughter is a universal language that brings us all together. World Laughter Day is all about uniting us with the power of fun and laughter.

World Laughter Day is held every year on the first Sunday in May. This year, that falls on 7th May 2023.

World Laughter Day was founded by Dr. Madan Kataria in Mumbai, India in 1998. Dr Kataria founded the Laughter Yoga movement in 1995 and understood the positive affects laughter and smiling has on the body. This is why he started World Laughter Day, to help spread that message across the globe. Thanks to the internet, World Laughter Day has spread to over 70 countries.

Here are some LAUGHTER facts;

  • Humans are born with the capacity to laugh. The syllables “ha-ha,” “ho-ho,” or “he-he” are part of the universal human vocabulary, and all cultures recognize them.
  • The ages at which we laugh most exuberantly are 5 and 6.
  • Researchers speculate that humans laughed before they could speak.
  • Monkeys and rats too, laugh.
  • Laughter is contagious. Just watching people laugh activates the brain to prepare facial muscles to join in.
  • Laughing just 10–15 minutes a day can burn up to 40 calories.
  • Laughter synchronizes the brains of both speaker and listener so that they become emotionally attuned.
  • Gelotophobia is the fear of laughter. Those who suffer from gelotophobia respond to all laughter as if it is at their expense. Up to 13% of the population could be afraid of laughter.
  • Gelotology is the study of humour and laughter.
  • You can’t make yourself laugh by tickling yourself. Your brain predicts that a tickle is about to happen, so it’s impossible to surprise yourself.
  • The number one reason people laugh isn’t because of a joke but because they are interacting with another person.
  • Even forcing yourself to smile or to laugh can improve your mood.
  • There is no formula for making someone laugh. Researchers generally note that what makes us laugh is when we expect one thing and then that expectation is quickly turned on its head.
  • Laughing too hard can cause cataplexy, or sudden and uncontrollable muscle weakness. A person experiencing cataplexy is still awake and aware, but they are unable to move.
  • While rare, it is possible to die from laughter. Laughing too hard can cause a brain aneurysm, asthma attack, gelastic seizures, or asphyxiation. Famous people who have died from laughter include Chrysippus (third-century Greek, Stoic philosopher), King Martin of Aragon in 1410, and Englishman Alex Mitchell in 1975.
  • Babies usually start laughing when they are between 3 and 5 months old.
  • Children who are born blind and deaf are able to laugh.
  • Laughter improves cardiovascular health and increases blood flow.
  • Laughter Yoga is a type of yoga that combines laughter, deep breathing, and playful exercises.
  • Nervous laughter, like courtesy laughter, is a type of conscious laughter that tries to move a potentially awkward situation along more quickly.
  • An agelast is someone who rarely or never laughs.
  • Laughter can bring people together. It can also be used as a weapon to humiliate and ostracize.
  • Laughter, such as nervous laughter, is often used as a defence mechanism against anxiety or fear.
  • Laughter reduces pain, reduces blood sugar levels, increases glucose tolerance in diabetics and non-diabetics, improves job performance, and brings people together.
  • In 1962, a laughter epidemic broke out in Tanzania. The outbreak began in a girls’ school and spread to other communities, ultimately affecting 1,000 people and causing the temporary closure of 14 schools. Symptoms included cycles of laughing and crying that lasted from a few hours to 16 days.

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