Today I received an email from the Marriage Counseling Therapy Network inviting me to watch a You Tube segment on laughter. The video reminded me how important it is to laugh and how good laughter makes you feel. While you’re laughing, you aren’t thinking about anything else other than how good you feel to laugh. I have talked about this topic in older postings, but I wanted to bring it up again as there are so many benefits to laughter. Catherine Ripplinger Fenwick says it well. She is author of Healing with Humour, and she says it is crucial to survival:
“A sense of humor is one of our most powerful stress coping behaviors. Laughter is very freeing. If we can laugh at a thing we can survive it. Laughter helps us to gain power in powerless situations and gives us a sense of control when things around us seem out of control.”
Other benefits to laughter include
- calm jangled nerves
- enhance the body’s ability to prevent, alleviate, or struggle against affliction
- release endorphins, the feel-good hormones
There is even a new kind of therapy called laugh therapy. And here is an interesting fact:
Adults laugh approximately 15 times a day while children laugh about 400 times a day. How did growing up cause us to lose a few hundred laughs a day? Let’s strive to get that back.
There is statistical evidence that a positive attitude has a large part in being good for our health. Laughter raises the ability of the immune system to fight viruses. For example, partners in a happy marriage get fewer colds and have stronger disease-fighting systems. There are so many benefits, that it’s not possible in this essay to list them all.
Here’s an example of another benefit:
Jeannette decided to spice up the bedroom a bit, to get her and her husband in the mood after putting the kids to bed. So she’d washed the sheets with detergent that was scented like lilac flowers. She eagerly waited to hear what Tom had to say that evening when he slipped nude between the sheets to join her.
“I smell something different,” he sniffed suspiciously at the pillowcase.
Jeannette asked him to guess what it was. Would he guess lilac? she wondered. Or would he say rose?
Ever clever, Tom replied, “Smells like the shavings we use in the rabbit cage.”
They both had a good laugh, and they followed their laughter up with lively intimacy. The evening did not have quite the flowery sweetness Jeannette had planned, but certainly the evening had exactly the kind of fun loving that she’d wanted!
As a couples’ counselor, I can confirm that laughter is a relationship-booster. When you and your significant other can’t see eye to eye, and negativity seems the only thing you are focusing on, find something funny to share and start to laugh. Remember you always have a choice of how you view things. When you can turn a situation into a light, funny one everyone benefits.
It might not fix or resolve the argument, or even provide a solution. But I can guarantee that you will surely feel better. And when you feel better, life looks different, and problems tend to look smaller. With a different mindset situations that were troubling seem workable and a new approach can be implemented.
So my tip for today: Laugh, laugh and laugh some more. Positive feedback is always welcome.