Live Better: A Healthy Laugh; October 2005; Scientific American Mind; by Charmaine Liebertz; 2 Page(s)
Anywhere in the world, a smile conveys a universal point: "I'm friendly, and we can get along." Shared laughter goes even further, implying a kind of secret bond among the participants. For each of us personally, mirth affords a certain distance from our defeats. Comedian Bill Cosby hit the nail on the head when he said, "If you can laugh at it, you can survive it." And as research on the subject grows, it is becoming more evident that laughing can make us healthier physically as well as mentally.
Laughter begins as an uncontrollable reflex when babies reach about four months of age. Soon they may giggle up to 400 times a day. Once in preschool, children playing with verbal nonsense, puns and tongue twisters learn that when they say things that make other children laugh, the others become interested in and like them.