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April 22, 2003

Choosing Happiness or Laughter

Given a choice between two mental/emotional states - happiness and laughter - which one will you choose?

UPDATE(from reply to a comment):
You say that laughter is "often" an "expression" of happiness.

But I think that the relationship is more complex. And the differences between them are subtle and interesting.

Laughter is more appropriately a physical activity expressing acknowledgement of the emotion of humor.

However, the tendency to laugh increases when you are happy. So the tendency to sense humor is more when you are happy.

However, humor can also be a cause for happiness. For example, if you are in a sad mood, then suddenly a good joke and you are back laughing, and tend to loose sadness.

The origin of happiness can also be more easily explained by evolution by correlating with biological factors such as survival/reproduction (and also some facts related to consciousness which then goes on to desires and their satisfaction), however the laughter has evolution based on less biological factors but more social factors, like the conveyance of the fact that "I am happy", "I am not going to harm you", "You are doing a stupid activity", "You do not belong to our group", etc.

People often resort to means of humor/laughter to become happy.


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