Laughter, non-smoking, hunger and gender. Though seemingly different, these four factors can help increase your pain tolerance, found various preliminary studies. A good dose of laughter increases pain tolerance, according to a Swiss study. The study found that people who were genuinely laughing could keep their hands in ice water for a longer period of time than those who weren’t laughing. Go on, now you try. Findings of a Norwegian study on the other hand spells bad news for smokers. They found that smokers have the lowest pain tolerance, followed by former smokers while non-smokers have the highest pain tolerance. Go on, kick that butt! Okay, we know it’s not that easy, so try our 5 Ways To Stop Smoking. Now for those of you who feel blue every so often, Scottish researchers say that depression highly contributes to the effect that smoking has on lowered pain tolerance. Stomach rumbling? Hunger speaking, maybe. But this is good news. UK researchers say pain tolerance is better when you’re hungry. Now for the battle of the sexes. Do men or women tolerate pain better? We win again, sorry ladies. Several studies found that women were more sensitive to pain in several ways. According to the study, women perceived pain more strongly following sleep deprivation than men and women in pain tend to be more sensitive to sound. What explains this? There’s no definite answer, but the research suggests that it could be due to the way women cope with pain.