The Importance of Laughter
Most people know the value of a good relationship. Advice on 'how to make relationships work' fills bookstore bookshelves and hours of TV talk-show time.
But of all the elements that contribute to the warm atmosphere of a good relationship, there is one that seldom gets translated into advice or even therapy, yet is something that everyone desires and most people would like more of ... Laughter.
Most of what makes people laugh is not thigh-slapper stuff but conversational comments. Laughter is less about humor and more about social relationships, according to Robert Provine, who wrote Laughter: A Scientific Investigation.
- Laughter plays a big role in mating. Men like women who laugh heartily in their presence.
- Both sexes laugh a lot, but females laugh about 126 percent more than men. Men are more about generating laughs.
- The laughter of the female is the critical index of a healthy relationship
- Laughter in relationships declines dramatically as people age.
- Like yawning, laughter is contagious. The laughter of others is irresistible.
- Tickling is a great physical way to get some laughter happening, and yes, that counts just as much as joking around.
Read more about Laughter in this Psychology Today article: The Benefits of Laughter
Another fantastic reference on laughing and happiness is on the website HelpGuide.org Here are some of their tips to get more laughter in your life ...
Smile. Smiling is the beginning of laughter and like laughter, it’s contagious. When you look at someone or see something even mildly pleasing, practice smiling. Instead of looking down at your phone, look up and smile at people you pass in the street, the person serving you a morning coffee, or the co-workers you share an elevator with. Notice the effect this has on others.
Count your blessings. Literally make a list. The simple act of considering the good things in your life will distance you from negative thoughts that are a barrier to humor and laughter. When you’re in a state of sadness, you have further to travel to get to humor and laughter.
When you hear laughter, move toward it. Sometimes humor and laughter are private, a shared joke among a small group, but usually not. More often, people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again and feed off the humor you find in it. When you hear laughter, seek it out and ask, “What’s funny?”
Spend time with fun, playful people. These are people who laugh easily–both at themselves and at life’s absurdities–and who routinely find the humor in everyday events. Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious. Even if you don’t consider yourself a lighthearted, humorous person, you can still seek out people who like to laugh and make others laugh. Every comedian appreciates an audience.
Bring humor into conversations. Ask people, “What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today? This week? In your life?”
Read the entire article at HelpGuide.org