A giggle or guffaw: laughter soothes stress and bonds students


Claire Hallaway

Laughter is scientifically shown to improve health, reduce stress, and improve one’s mood. Although the end benefits are the same, different things make different students laugh. “[I laugh at] mostly any dumb jokes, puns, memes, stories other people say, funny moments,” sophomore Fremont Forsberg said.

As it may be obvious, even a small amount of laughter can boost the mood of many. Laughter shows emotion as well as promoting bonding and feelings of happiness. According to research, endorphins are sent out as laughing occurs, which produces a greater sense of well-being.

“[Laughter] definitely makes me happy, and I see how it makes other people happy because I smile and laugh a lot of the time,” ninth-grader Jonas Bray said.

What makes students laugh?

Many students have different opinions on what is funny or what makes them laugh. Sophomore Eddie Krasny isn’t a big fan of puns; instead he finds that inside jokes and moments with friends bring the greatest laughter.

“I laugh most when I’m with friends and random humor just comes up that only makes sense for the situation. I don’t really laugh at jokes or funny stories but just whenever I’m with the friends and we’re doing something really stupid. It’s usually just inside jokes, and stuff that wouldn’t make other people laugh but only my friends and me laugh,” Krasny said.

Sharing goofy moments with friends is a source of amusement for many.

I when Marlee dances…When Hannah [Scott] raps… I laugh a lot especially when I’m not supposed to be laughing,” senior Katie Lose said.

Some students do appreciate punny humor.

“I don’t know why I laugh in history, I have no idea. I laugh all the time. Also puns, I’ve always loved puns,” junior Mashal Naqvi said.

For others, intentional humor makes them laugh.

I mostly any dumb jokes, puns, memes, stories other people say, funny moments,” sophomore Fremont Forsberg said.

“I always laugh at my friends making really bad jokes. When someone tries to be funny and it’s not that funny, but you still laugh anyways,” Bray said.

Benefits of laughter

Physiologically, laughter is found by many to connect people together. Laughter is thirty times much more common in social situations than when people are alone. This is because it is also a response and a signal.

“[It connects people] because if you have like a common sense of humor in someone, it’s a lot easier to be friends with them. So it’s more comfortable when you share a sense of humor in someone and you both laugh at the same things,” Naqvi said.

“You build inside jokes, connections, things you remember about people that you’ve laughed about before,” Lose said.

The bonds that laughter forms solidify friendships and expand on shared memories.

“I know when someone can make me laugh or I can make them laugh, I’m usually pretty close to them because a lot of the times when I make someone laugh, it’s because of like talking about experiences that I had with that person and just looking back, which we laugh at,” Krasny said.

I know when someone can make me laugh or I can make them laugh, I’m usually pretty close to them

— Eddie Krasny

Laughing relaxes the body and muscles and can relieve physical tension, pain and stress. Stress hormones are decreased and instead immune cells are increased. Many students have found that laughter is a good way of coping with stress. It allows them a small distraction and can lighten the mood.

“When I get really stressed, I feel like I can’t do anything but laugh, which is not great. Only when I’m really stressed I and I just can’t focus on anything,” junior Eliza Reedy said.

Laughter can brighten one’s mood, which is often a relief during high stress times like exams.

“It’s really like a good way to de-stress. Especially when you don’t do well on something, a lot of people don’t do well and you just laugh about it, it makes you feel better. It’s probably harder to genuinely laugh [during stressful times], but stressful laughing happens a lot. It makes it seem less serious when you do laugh, it’s easier to just deal with it,” Lose said.

“[Laughter] for sure helps me de-stress. It’s nice to laugh instead of just constantly thinking about upcoming tests or assignments. It does really help in the days before upcoming tests. If you do laugh a lot, then I think there’s a noticeable change in your behavior,” Bray said.