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Friday, December 28, 2012

How to Laugh

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Want to bond with a new group of people? You could cover all your clothing in glue, or, if you're on a budget, you could just laugh with them. If you've ever been the only person in a group who didn't get a joke, you probably already know that laughter is critically important to successful social interactions. Scientists have found that mutual laughter helps people feel at ease around each other, and laughing when others are laughing makes those others more likely to accept you into their group. If you have an extremely loud or a very annoying laugh and it is embarrassing to you to laugh, don't worry: everyone has different laughs. Just try not to annoy others.What's more, research suggests that laughter really may be the best medicine; laughter provides a vigorous workout to tighten your tummy and strengthen your heart, and regular laughing may boost your immune system. Fortunately, just about everybody can laugh. Just in case you need some pointers, though, you've come to the right place.


  1. Think of something you find funny. Not surprisingly, the easiest way to laugh is to think of something that you personally find very amusing. It seems a no-brainer, but it can be useful for those occasions where everybody but you is laughing at a joke. Why would you want to laugh just because others are laughing? Laughing along with one or more people shows you how to have to amuse yourself.
  2. Smile. If you do want to fake... er, create a laugh, start with a smile. Scientists have found that genuine laughter is almost accompanied by the contraction of about 15 facial muscles, most of which are the same you use when you smile. Remember to smile with your eyes as well as your mouth. Smiling not only is a part of the natural laugh reflex; it can actually put you in a better mood and make you more apt to laugh.
    • Smiling has been shown to make you feel good[1]; therefore a smile precedes laughter, as you have to feel good before you laugh.
  3. Laugh at the appropriate time. Genuine laughs almost always begin at the end of a phrase or sentence. That is, they do not interrupt spoken phrases, but rather punctuate speech when the speaker would normally pause to breathe or start a new thought. You have probably noticed that stand-up comedians, for instance, pause at certain times during or after their jokes. These are spaces for laughter, and if a comedian had the lung capacity and the audacity to deliver a two-minute monologue without ever pausing, it's quite possible no one would laugh, regardless of how funny the routine was.
  4. Match your vowels. A typical laugh consists of short vocalizations, each with the same vowel sound. So, for example, "ha ha ha" will sound like a normal laugh, as will "bo ho ho," but "ha ho ha" just sounds weird. And kind of scary.
  5. Time your vocalizations. Research shows that the individual vocalizations that make up a "natural" laugh are about 210 milliseconds apart. The precision of that statistic is useless, because it varies around four per second, and comedians have made fun of limits in the machine gun tempo.
  6. Feel it in your belly. You've got your timing and vowels right, but if you just say "ha ha ha" people are liable to think that you are either stuttering or mocking them. If this is not your desired effect, remember that sustained or frequent laughter is a proven way to strengthen and tone your abdominal muscles. The reason, of course, is that a good laugh uses those muscles to rather forcefully expel short bursts of air. Practice this by doing your best belly laugh—it doesn't necessarily need to be loud—for one minute. You will feel the burn. You may want to be seated if you try this, however, as laughter is characterized by irregular breathing and is actually similar to gasping for air.
  7. Taper your laugh. The typical laugh starts relatively loud and then tapers gradually off. While this isn't always the case, laughs that increase in volume or that stop abruptly are generally suspicious. And remember, laughing is showing people that you're happy. So, have fun with it and don't worry about what people think of your laugh. Everyone has his/ her own unique laugh, and everyone will love to hear yours!
  8. Watch one of your favorite comedies, or ask your friends for a funny movie they have recently watched. You could go watch it with them for more laughs.
  9. Talk about something cheerful or funny. When your friend insults the teacher, or when your sister reminds you of the time she did something funny.


  • You don't have to laugh at everything that others say.
  • Have your own sense of humor too. Make your own joke- something that is truly funny to you.
  • Although the best laugh is generally from a person, it is helpful to go online and search for funny quotes, jokes, pictures, stories, etc.
  • Make sure that the way you laugh is acceptable to others by looking around while you laugh. (If so, good. If not, work on it.)


  • While scientists believe that laughter has a whole host of health benefits, it's not recommended for some people, such as those who have recently had certain surgeries or those with certain medical conditions. Sometimes people laugh at sneezes or hiccups; however after surgery either can causes severe groans; which may seem funny to the innocent bystander but not to the one groaning: " `Hic' , awnh-aaaawnh-aah-awh!".
  • Always follow the advice of your medical professional, and if you ever experience pain or discomfort while laughing, especially if the discomfort persists after you have stopped laughing, consult your doctor immediately.
  • As is the case with other forms of body language, it's difficult to fake laughter, and if you're unconvincing, people may suspect there's something phony about you. Often laughing louder than can be handled, as we often do while faking laughter, results in a big cough leaving your throat in an almost 'choked' condition. Better be original than be sorry.
  • Too much "laughter" may cause people to believe that you have serious mental problems.
  • Some jokes online contain mature content.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  1. http://www.diy-stress-relief.com/smile.html

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Laugh. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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