The Health Benefits of Shared Laughter

There is a blessing in the joy of shared laughter. Try it: get cartoons or jokes that pop up on your computer every day, share a joke you got via e-mail or talk to friends and co-workers about the funny scene in the latest hit movie. Laughter will lower your blood pressure, calm your pulse and generally help you and your friends and family to release a lot of stress. Experts on healing now say that laughter and humor, hope and happiness are an important part of any healing process.

The benefits of laughter are numerous and the existence of frequent, warm laughter in your relationships indicates that all is going well, and gives you both confidence that problems can be overcome.

If something frustrating is happening, try easing the tension with a bit of humor to change stress to silliness. Don’t poke fun at your mate, but use shared humor as a way to say “I know this is tough, but we’ll get through it.” Your mate will think of you as someone soothing and helpful to have around when problems happen, because you represent fun and happiness to each other.

A lighthearted approach to serious matters often is the most productive one. Imagine what your days would be like if you focused on having fun and making yourself and your partner laugh. Fun is also good for your health: Telling your partner the cute thing your kid said (or your pet did) or watching a funny movie or TV show will lower your blood pressure, calm your pulse and generally help you release a lot of stress. Laughing with your partner is good for your heart, gives you a little bit of aerobic exercise, and reminds both of you about how good you are for each other. Shared laughter also synchs up your emotional rhythms, which makes it easier for you and your partner to feel connected and intimate with each other.

Loving, shared laughter also enhances self-acceptance. The paradox seems to be that having permission for child-like play also gives permission to be responsible and self-accepting. When you don't make nasty jokes or cruel remarks about each other and your love, and make silly ones instead, you can laugh with each other, and feel good about it. It’s also difficult to store up resentments against the person in your life who makes it easiest for you to laugh. Try if and soon you’ll find yourself looking for ways to make each other laugh Try pushing your partner’s “laugh buttons” and tickling his or her funny bone and you’ll see how much fun it is.

Instead of treasuring old grudges, and hurts, learn to treasure old jokes and funny lines. Shared laughter can evoke an overwhelming feeling of warmth and caring for each other. The endorphins released by mutual humor flow through both of you, and create joy. Humor is the secret in both keeping your love fresh and alive, and in feeling confident that you will not lose your specialness to each other.

The less you struggle, the more you’ll laugh and play. Struggle can become addictive and be used in relationships to structure time; but when you replace the drama of struggle with the delight of humor you can create positive addiction; and a powerful solution for what to do with your time together.


Author Bio: Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 35 years’ experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 14 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Ten Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make After Forty; Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences, The Real 13th Step; How to Be Happy Partners: Working it Out Together and How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter. Dr. Tessina was the CRO (Chief Romance Officer) for Love Forever. Online, she’s known as “Dr. Romance.” Dr. Tessina appears frequently on radio, TV, video and podcasts. She tweets @tinatessina.

 
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