Knock! Knock! (You say, “Who's there?")

Tank! (You say, “Tank who?")

You're welcome! Ha ha ha! And you are welcome for starting your day off with a laugh. What do you mean you're not laughing? That wasn't funny? Well, how about this one.

What goes tick, tock, woof, tick, tock, woof? Give up? A watch dog! We're cracking ourselves up today! We hope you're laughing, too, because laughter is an important part of life and, as it turns out, is quite beneficial for the body and mind.

Have you ever heard someone say that laughter is the best medicine? If you've ever had a broken arm, you know that laughter is no substitute for a good doctor and a cast. However, there may be some truth to the health benefits that some scientists believe laughter provides.

Various studies have shown that laughter has positive psychological effects. For example, laughter appears to alleviate the symptoms of depression. Laughter also helps to relieve anxiety and improve mood.

While the mental effects of laughter seem to make common sense, more curious are the physical benefits of laughter. Several studies have shown that laughter appears to help people experience less physical pain.

But why would this be so? Perhaps it has something to do with the things that happen within our bodies when we laugh. A good hearty bout of laughing will have us moving our muscles, while our pulse and blood pressure rise and increase blood flow. We also begin to breathe faster, which increases the level of oxygen in our blood.

Some experts believe that laughing provides the body with a mild workout, similar to light exercise. Studies have shown that 10-15 minutes of laughter can burn 50 or more calories. Don't rely on laughing to help you lose weight, though. It would take over 12 hours of constant laughing to lose one pound!

Not all scientists are convinced that these positive effects can be solely attributed to laughing. As with many scientific inquiries, it can be hard to separate cause from effect when it comes to laughing and its potential benefits. For example, are people healthier because they laugh? Or do they laugh because they're healthier and have more to be happy about?

Moreover, some experts point out that laughter is largely a social phenomenon. They believe that any health benefits may be just as likely to come from being close to friends and family rather than laughter alone.

Regardless of whether scientists will ever be able to pin down laughter's direct benefits, they can all agree that laughing together with friends and family can make us happier and improve our quality of life. In fact, some researchers believe laughter can help you live a longer life.

Researchers in Japan and Norway have conducted studies that suggest laughter may lead to living a longer life. Of course, they don't fully understand the mechanisms of why this might be the case, but they do have a few ideas.

For example, some studies have suggested that laughter can boost the body's immune system, helping to fight off deadly diseases. Other studies have shown that laughter can help reduce inflammatory compounds that lead to inflammation in older adults, which plays an important role in the progression of many deadly diseases, such as arthritis and cancer.

Wonder What's Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day stars one of the most unique mammals you’re ever likely to meet!