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Humor piece

“What’s so Funny?”

What makes you LOL? From a funny movie or TV show to those hilarious, milk-through-your-nose lunch table conversations, everyone loves a good laugh. But do you ever wonder why we laugh? Did you know about the big benefits a little chuckle might have on your life? Or how YOU can use humor in a hairy situation?


Girls Inc. Online has the answers on laughter and humor – from the greatest of guffaws to the tiniest of titters.

Why Should I Laugh?

A lot of experts have different theories on why people laugh, but scientists [do we mean medical/scientific professionals?] have pinpointed why laughter is good for you. First, it makes your body release endorphins, which are chemicals that your body produces that act like nature’s stress relievers (You know that great feeling you get after a tough workout or dance marathon? Those are endorphins at work, too). Some experts say that endorphins help humans fight disease and lower stress, so a little giggle can go a long way.


Think of times when you’ve been grateful for a laugh— laughter helps you relax and might take your mind off some worries.


And, humor brings people together. Laughter is like a universal signal that everyone is on the same page.

When Laughter is the Best Medicine

  • Laughter makes people feel included. Imagine, for example, being a new student at school—it can feel awkward or stressful to have to meet so many new people. If you tell a joke or make an observation that is funny to a group, everyone might feel more at ease.

  • Humor can be an icebreaker. If you have to explain a school project in front of your class, try starting your presentation with a joke or something that you learned during your work that you find funny. The laughter will make you feel confident, and your explanation will seem much easier.

  • Humor can help people understand issues and opinions in a new way. If you are having trouble expressing your opinions, sometimes being funny will help people better understand what you have to say.

When ISN'T Laughter the Best Medicine?

  • Let your gut instinct be your guide—your little brother getting into trouble at the dinner table might NOT be the best time to lighten the mood.

  • Just as great jokes or witty observations can help people focus, they can also distract from situations that need serious attention—when your math teacher is helping your class through a tough word problem, you might want to hang on to your jokes for the hallway.

  • Don’t settle for a cheap laugh, whether or not you’re the one who’s making the joke. Remember that it’s always better for a group of people to be laughing together rather than hurting one person’s feelings by laughing AT her. Be kind to yourself, too! It might be tempting to make jokes about yourself because it feels good to make others laugh, but just as others don’t deserve to be the target of your jokes, neither do YOU.

Is Humor the Same Everywhere in the World?

Certain jokes and situations are funny to all people because we are all human, but some styles of humor can also be specific to an area, a community, or even a special group. For example, a joke that talks about your town is only funny to people who have been to that town. Here are some other examples:

  • In Britain, people laugh at the person who is doing something wrong and not getting caught, but in the United States, people generally root for the good guy or gal.

  • In Spain, humor is more physical. While Americans might tell more jokes, people in Spain enjoy laughing when a person pretends to fall.

  • The most popular American television comedies involve the same characters in the same place, so viewers can “get to know” the storyline and its characters over time. In Canada, most successfully funny shows are sketch comedy programs in which a team of actors perform in different scenes as completely different characters.

What's Next?

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