Everybody laughs the same in every language because laughter is a universal connection. – Yakov Smirnoff
What does that mean?
Have you ever noticed that everyone laughs the same? Well, some laughs are a little peculiar, but everyone on the planet knows what a laugh is. Even if you don’t know how to ask were the bathroom is, you know a laugh in an instant.
Laughter, like smiles, is one of the few universal methods of communication between humans. Even some animals seem to be able to follow along when we laugh. And when people share laughter, there is a special connection between them, even if they aren’t speaking the same language.
Laughter is one of the most welcoming emotional expressions which humans have, and one which excludes no one (with one exception for mean laughter). The laughter of others can be infectious, and lead to even more laughter. This is a great benefit for all of the people of the world.
Why is laughter important?
How do you react to laughter? Excluding times when you feel foolish because you just did something poorly (or something you should not have done), it’s usually a pretty good feeling, isn’t it? That feeling is part of why most TV shows have laugh tracks (or live audiences with ‘LAUGH’ signs).
When people laugh, they tend to feel better about themselves and their situation. It’s a fairly simple to do, and it costs you nothing (except the possibility of a little bit of your pride).
It’s also a scientific fact that laughter is good for our health as well as for helping people bond as a group (NYT discusses both). It also helps with pain relief and stress relief as well. (Mayo Clinic discusses both).
It appears that humans have had laughter and music as bonding elements as far back as anyone can tell. Even primates have something very similar (a rhythmic panting sound). In humans as well as primates, laughter is part of group bonding, and is part of why it makes for such a universal connection.
Where can I apply this in my life?
While there are times where laughter is most definitely inappropriate, I believe laughter is one of the activities most easily added to our lives. Even if it is something as simple as watching a movie or a TV show at home, there are ways to make you laugh.
You could get a book of jokes or a book of humorous stories. You could hit any one of the thousands of websites on the internet devoted to different types of humor. From home repair failures, to silly signs, to animals doing funny things, there is a site out there somewhere that will make you laugh.
The links (above) included discussions of the short and long term health benefits of laughter, as well as the relief of pain and stress it can provide. You can get all that and not even leave your room! What a country! That is one of the catch phrases of the author of today’s quote. You can laugh if you got it. If not, well, I never claimed to be funny.
One of the other things of note, and more to the point of the quote, is the ability of laughter to bring people together. Whether it’s a crowd at a movie theater or a couple sharing a private joke, the result is the same. You feel better and you feel closer at the same time.
As today’s quote is about the connection that laughter can bring, it is worth going into a little more detail. Can you think of anyone with whom you are closely bonded, and yet not shared a laugh? I couldn’t think of any, even at work. What about you?
Now think about your closest friends and how often you shared laughter at the peak of the relationship. How does that amount of laughter compare to other times in the relationship? How does it compare with those you aren’t as close to you?
For me, I found a fairly strong correlation between laughter and the level and quality of the interpersonal connection we shared. I also found that the quality of the relationships seemed to track with the amount of laughter we shared.
That last part makes sense, as you don’t generally share laughs with people with whom you are aggravated. But which came first, the anger, or the lack of laughter? More importantly, have you ever been able to patch things up with laughter? I know I have, and on many occasions. How about you?
Laughter is good medicine, as well as good social policy. How often and where you use it will depend on your tastes and what your social groups consider appropriate. But you might want to try to stress a little less and laugh a little more. And consider doing it with friends.
From: Twitter, @JewishComedians
confirmed at :http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/y/yakovsmirn376224.html
Photo by Tobyotter
Happy Birthday to Yakov Smirnoff, Born 24 January, 1951.