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September 26, 2013 at 1:05 PMComments: 2 Faves: 0

Laughter 101

By Lauren Hubers More Blogs by This Author

People are different. Some are more private, some are more public. Some like movies, others like books. But if there's one thing that we all have in common, it's that we love to laugh.

There's an old proverb that says “a joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” Can laughing really be that healthy? Is there really any truth to that statement? Studies have shown that laughter actually is good medicine with a lot of mental, physical, and social benefits.

Evidence suggests that laughter boosts your immune system, lowers stress, relaxes your muscles, and protects you against various health problems. Laughing can lower the stress hormones and strengthen the cells and antibodies that keep your body healthy. It also releases endorphins that can temporarily relieve pain. In addition, it improves blood vessels and blood flow, helping to prevent cardiovascular diseases.

Laughter improves mental health by decreasing stress and anxiety, as well as putting you in a better mood. When you laugh so hard at something really funny, how relaxed do you feel when you're done? More or less than when you started? It's impossible to laugh and feel angry/anxious at the same time. Trust me; I tried. One reason why people sometimes laugh—even in stressful situations—is that it relaxes the mind. It doesn't always improve the situation, but it does make you feel better.

Additionally, laughter creates/strengthens relationships, makes teamwork more achievable, resolves conflicts, and makes people more willing to interact with each other. How likely are you to spend your time with someone who frowns a lot as opposed to someone who loves to laugh and joke around? Laughing creates positive emotions, and when you feel positive emotions around certain people, they draw you closer to them. It also works the other way around; when they feel positive emotions, they'll be more likely to come closer to you.

What are some ways to start laughing, or to make someone else laugh? How do you make life funny? Here are a few simple options to get you started.

1: Weave silly words into your everyday language. For example, the word ape is not that funny. Monkey, in comparison, is hilarious. Watch: Ape. Monkey. Which of those two words made the corners of your mouth twitch? Other words that demand a few giggles include sneezing, cabbage, banana, and hugger-mugger (yes, that is a word). If you're around children, make up a few silly words. They'll catch on pretty quickly.

2: Start a silly conversation with someone. Ask them if they ever play games like exotic bird bingo. Ask them their opinions on Brussels sprouts. Ask them if they think kids ever play connect the dots with their acne when they look in the mirror.

3: Take advantage of puns. One of the funniest teachers that I ever had loved to collect puns and incorporate them into his classes, even organizing them into different categories such as countries, books of the Bible, etc. The key to using them efficiently is novelty. For example, the “he brews” coffee pun is not very funny because it's been used over and over again. However, if you're at the beach digging a hole and you say something along the lines of “Should we take off our shoes? This is holy ground,” it could still be funny because it hasn't been used as much.

Sources: http://www.helpguide.org/life/humor_laughter_health.htm

http://odewire.com/58591/medicinal-mirth-the-health-benefits-of-laughter.html

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2 Comments

  • So I thought this would be the perfect place to put this little joke I just found online, have you heard it?

    While visiting a country school, the chairman of the Board Of Education became provoked at the noise the unruly students were making in the next room.
    Angrily, he opened the door and grabbed one of the taller boys who seemed to be doing most of the talking. He dragged the boy to the next room and stood him in the corner.
    A few minutes later, a small boy stuck his head in the room and pleaded, "Please, sir, may we have our teacher back...?"

  • Haha I actually haven't heard that joke, but that's funny! Thanks for sharing it!

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