This Sunday, the 2nd of May will be World Laughter Day.
Ha ha ha! — you might say — what on earth is that? Well my friend, I’m glad you ask — because after the year the world has had, we could certainly do with a chuckle.
What Is World Laughter Day?
World Laughter Day was born in 1995, the brainchild of Madan Kataria, a family doctor from India. While reading a psychology book, Kataria was struck by one of the ideas it explored. That acting an emotion could actually create the emotion. He wondered, could this be applied to laughter? It is, in fact, thought that voluntary laughter has the same psychological and physiological effects as genuine laughter — especially as ‘fake’ laughter usually sparks the ‘real’ thing. Kataria started small, suggesting that groups of friends get together and act like they were laughing. The results were electric. The people could not stop laughing — real bellyaching, knee-slapping laughter.
From this exercise came Laughter Yoga (Hasyayoga), a form of yoga based around prolonged voluntary laughter. Sessions usually include stretching and breathing exercises interspersed with group laughter. An emphasis on eye contact helps those awkward giggles along. The Laughter Yoga movement has actually spread to around 60 countries, with at least 200 organisations in America.
Ha Ha Ha! So What Is It Good For?
OK, so fake laughter spawns real laughter — and people like to chuckle and stretch. So? Well, it turns out that laughter really is the best medicine. There’s a whole host of things it’s good for, as well as letting your mate know he’s hilaaarious. Here are just a couple:
- Laughter releases endorphins — yes! The feel good chemical, baby! Endorphins increase your overall sense of wellbeing and can even relieve pain (temporarily).
- Laughter pumps your immune system — it decreases stress hormones, and can also increase antibodies and immune cells — improving how your body fights disease.
- Laughter relaxes your body: a big ol’ belly laugh reduces tension and stress in your body — your muscles are relaxed for up to 45 minutes later! Great if you’ve been hunched over a laptop all day…
- Laughter is good for your ticker: reduce likelihood of heart attack and cardiovascular issues by having a giggle. It increases blood flow and improves the function of blood vessels.
- Laughter increases social bonds: we tend to gravitate to people who make us laugh or laugh at our jokes. Community is created via these channels. Feeling close and connected with people can greatly lift your mood. In fact, it’s in our DNA…
In our DNA? Why yes indeed! Various studies have shown that laughter is a survival trait passed down from our monkey uncles. In fact, the ‘origins’ of laughter can be traced back to between 10 and 16 million years ago! It is thought that laughter as we know it, developed from the panting noises mammals make when playing — meaning the sound would have conveyed positive ‘vibes’. This would have strengthened bonds within a group — and as early humans began to develop more complicated social structures, being in with the in crowd would have been essential. Chimpanzees are noted to both laugh spontaneously and to fake laugh to join in with gigglers around them — even if they didn’t hear the joke.
Additionally, the classic ‘ha ha ha’ seems to transcend borders. British neuroscientists found that even in the remotest tribes, such as the tribes of Northern Namibia, who would have had no contact with other cultures, they were still ‘ha ha ha-ing’ away. This could mean the sound is universally human, regardless of language or location — which is pretty darn cool!
How To Get Some LOLs on World Laughter Day
We don’t need to tell you what you find amusing. You probably have your fave funny animal vids (like so!),
Your fave comedy movies (tah-dah!)
Or a kid who says the funniest things (if you don’t have your own kid, borrow a friend’s — they’re nuts!)
And don’t forget your favourite comedians, funniest friends, books and cartoons etc etc. — go wild!
But our tip for World Laughter Day is of course… Psilocybin!
Yes, one of the psychoactive-fantastical compounds in magic mushrooms and truffles can make you laugh like a ticklish hyena! Have you ever noticed how a psychedelic trip usually begins with uncontrollable giggling and guffawing, as the world starts to get a bit colourful? This can continue at points throughout your trip, and for many it’s the best bit. Although of course the mushrooms are helping you laugh, you’re not ‘faking’ it to make it — so it makes the induced laughter we discussed earlier that bit easier.
Additionally, think of the mood-boosting dream team of psilocybin and laughter! Magic mushrooms and truffles are known to improve mood and sense of wellbeing for a month or more after ingestion. Couple that with all the positive effects of laughter and goodness gracious — it could be as refreshing as a holiday!
So for this years World Laughter Day why not invest in one of our magic mushroom grow-kits or our magic truffles?
Before you know it you’ll be making that most universal of human sounds ‘HA HA HA!’
How are you celebrating World Laughter Day? Let us know in the comments below!