What’s so Funny? Creating Healthy Humor
No matter what country, culture, or creed we come from, we can create instant affinity through a smile and shared laughter. Have you ever noticed how much more enjoyable laughing is when you can share it with someone else? Think of the times in your life when you and another person started laughing together. No matter what stimulated it, the result was a release of tension and an increase in closeness. You and that person liked each other just that much more. Start noticing this whenever you are in a group – whether it’s a business meeting or a social group. When someone says something funny and everyone laughs the mood in the room changes, doesn’t it? Life gets just a little better with humor. I think it’s one of the best mechanisms of stress management.
Laughter is one of the most beneficial things you can do to improve your health and well being. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. Positive psychology names the propensity for laughter and sense of humor as one of the 24 main signature strengths one can possess, and laughter yoga clubs are springing up across the country. Laughter is an important aspect of the 8 Keys to Abundant Health.
The Physical Benefits of Laughter
Laughter has an obvious and powerful effect on the body and health. It is not only a result of happiness and humor but also a cause of it. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins and serotonin which are the feel good hormones that create feelings of euphoria, love and happiness. Laughter a great pain killer as well as a great antidepressant because endorphins can suppress pain making The positive effects of laughter can prevent serious illness by increasing immune cells and antibodies to strengthen its ability to cope with viruses and disease. This contributes to our ability to fight and resist a variety of viruses and almost antibiotic. Laughter also protects the heart by improving the function of blood vessels, encouraging blood flow and over time improving cholesterol and blood pressure thereby helping to prevent heart attack, heart disease or other circulatory system diseases. Laughter reduces the level of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormones creates inflammation in the body and contributes to fat deposition and consequent cardiovascular disease, so it is important to reduce it. Laughter relaxes the body by overriding stress and anger to relieve tension for up to 45 minutes after laughing.
How Many Ways Can YOU Create More Laughter in your Life?
Okay, this week, make a deliberate effort to create humor with your friends and co-workers to see what happens. Keep it light, though. Sarcasm and put down humor won’t always create the effect you want and different people have different senses of humor, so enjoy the moment and create uplifting humor wherever possible.
- Find a local Comedy Club and be with people who are laughing together.
- Watch funny T.V. and Movies: There are some great opportunities to laugh by watching comedies on TV and at the Theater. Trying inviting some friends over for a party or game night is also a great setup for laughter and other good feelings.
- Find happy people who love to laugh and hang out with them. When you hear laughter, move toward it. When you hear laughter, seek it out and ask, “What’s funny?”
- Bring humor into conversations. Ask people, “What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today? This week? In your life?”
- Laugh at yourself. Share your embarrassing moments. The best way to take yourself less seriously is to talk about times when you took yourself too seriously.
- Notice how children quickly move into joy and laughter. See if you can copy them.