People who laugh frequently have demonstrated greater capacity to deal with stress. The University of Basel investigated normal laughing behaviour – we laugh on average 14 times a day, women more than men – and those who laugh more appear to better deal with stressful triggers. Interestingly, it is not related to the intensity of laughter – perhaps a smile is enough!
Other studies have found that laughter is good medicine, in that it
- Reduces sensitivity to pain
- Reduces blood sugar levels
- Improves job productivity
- Improves communication
- Relaxes blood vessels, therefore protects the heart and reduces blood pressure
- Releases endorphins, helping you feel happy
- Builds relationships
When was the last time you had a good belly laugh? Craft opportunities where this can happen – see friends, re-watch a funny movie, come up with fun activities at work or at home, dress up and do something silly.
You can download one of a myriad of Apps to prompt a daily joke and try this for a few weeks, you may be pleasantly surprised how it may change the course of your day. Or you can write jokes – consider these books – The Serious Guide to Joke Writing, Truth in Comedy, And Here’s the Kicker, Born Standing Up (Steve Martin) and Bossypants (Tina Fey).
Or if dad jokes aren’t your thing, try one of these podcasts – Comedy Bang Bang, Anna Farris is Unqualified, Mega, How Did This Get Made, Entry Level, No Such Thing as a Fish, My Dad Wrote a Porno, and Sip on This.
So let’s get to it – what do you find funny?