Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Which Part of Brain Causes Us to Laugh?

Laughing on a joke or some event happening around you not only makes you feel de-stressed but also makes you feel good about yourself even though it may be only temporary. The part of the brain which causes us to laugh is called the limbic system. This part of the brain controls the emotions of a human being like laughter, sadness, and anger. The amygdala and the hippocampus are the two structures within the limbic system that cause laughter.

The amygdala is connected to the hippocampus and medial dorsal nucleus and through this connection it controls activities like friendship, love, hate, affection. Any dysfunction in the amygdala may lead to an individual being depressed, having attention disorder, feeling always sad, and several other mental disorders. Studies show that people who are happy and laugh at least thrice a day have a healthier and sharp brain than those who do not do it. What has been discussed below is the relationship between laughter and the human brain.

How Does Laughter Affect The Human Brain?

Some of the affects that laughter has on the brain are:

Laughter is a natural stress buster. Laughter relieves stress and tension and makes an individual feel light. Laughter also boosts energy level and makes an individual stay focused on tasks for a longer period of time. A lighter atmosphere at work also increases productivity and efficiency of employees. When an individual laughs, both sides of the brain get activated encouraging creativity, clarity, and enhance thought processing and problem solving ability.

Laughter also enables an individual to think more clearly and practically. Frequent laughter at a joke or some prank in the office will allow the individual to have more clarity of thought and assist in effective decision making.

Studies have shown that laughter produces brain waves that are similar to when an individual meditates. This causes the mind to be more focused and have integrative thoughts. This is of great help to people who have a problem staying focused on a task consistently for a prolonged period of time.

Laughter also takes care of any negative thoughts that may be creeping in the mind. This is seen more in people who are depressed or have anxiety disorder. Laughter also increases the self confidence and self esteem of an individual. Laughing out a problem will enable the individual to have a more positive outlook towards things in general and help cope with mood disorders like anxiety and depression.

In case if an individual is battling a complicated illness or a painful condition, laughter plays a great role in diverting the mind from the illness towards more positive things in life. It also gives the individual the strength to fight off the illness with renewed vigor and gives the individual the confidence of coming out of the problem.

Laughter also can deal with conditions like PTSD. Laughter gives these individuals the confidence to speak about their problems and have no distress in discussing them and within no time these individuals learn how to cope up with this disorder. Laughter is being now used in psychotherapy and the results have been extremely good which is yet another proof of the impact that laughter has on the brain.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: September 21, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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