One of my – no, actually my favourite sounds is the hysterical giggling of my children. You know the kind of laugh that sounds like a babbling brook and which is so contagious that within seconds you start laughing too when you hear it? I love that sound.
So why is laughter so good for us? Well, laughter involves a shuddering action of the diaphragm in the same way that crying does. It stretches and strengthens the muscles in our face, throat, neck, stomach and back (ever laughed so hard it hurts?). Laughing releases the feel good chemical dopamine which stimulates our brain’s frontal lobe which makes it easier to learn. Laughter increases our memory and alertness and reduces the effects of the stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol which we know can negatively affect our health.
How do you get your laughs? Do you have a favourite television show or comedian? With Adelaide Fringe approaching there’s going to be a stack of funny people in town really soon – it would be great to create a list of ‘must sees’ in the comments section below as a laughter resource.