Researchers from the University of Basel found that smiling in everyday life can help, too.

Young women piggybacking on sandy beach
Credit: Getty / Klaus Vedfelt

Whether you enjoy spending time with loved ones or simply watching a funny television show, smiling and laughing are likely guaranteed results of doing some of your favorite activities. And, according to Science Daily, that's a good thing—these two expressions of happiness do much more than just show others that you're having a good time. Researchers from the Division of Clinical Psychology and Epidemiology of the Department of Psychology at the University of Basel published in the PLOS ONE journal found that regular amounts of laughter can help relieve you of stress in life events.

To gather their findings, the researchers used an acoustic signal from an app to prompt the participants of the study with questions eight times each day for two weeks. Each question was in connection to how often the volunteers—41 psychology students, 33 who were women and about 22-years-old on average—laughed. The questions also asked about intensity of the laughter and the reason for chuckling in everyday life.

In their first round of results, the researchers and lead authors for the study, Dr. Thea Zander-Schellenberg and Dr. Isabella Collins, noted that when participants said they experienced laughter, they likely didn't have stressful events going on in life.

On the other hand, they discovered in their later findings that intensity in laughter (strong, medium, or weak) didn't play a factor in connection to stress symptoms. "This could be because people are better at estimating the frequency of their laughter, rather than its intensity, over the last few hours," the team noted.


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