14 Jul 2021

Five hundred words about laughter. You must be joking! It could be either 10 jokes each about 50 words long or 50 one liners.

Actually what I would like to do is explore how laughter can help with your mental health. Before I start I would like to send a message to the person who recently stole my box of anti-depressants “ I hope you are happy now!”

It is well known that laughter is the best medicine (thanks to HO for his reminders). In fact someone said 3 minutes of laughter is as good as 30 minutes of jogging. So recently I have taken to sitting on a park bench and laughing as the joggers go by.

Laughter is closely linked to your sense of humour. Having a good SOH is useful and I remember discussing it many years ago on a management training course about working relationships. We were asked what we considered to be the most important personality trait and SOH got the most votes. Fortunately I have a similar SOH to my OH and to my therapist.

I know from personal experience that a world without laughter is bad place. For a few weeks after last years breakdown I did not laugh and it took several sessions with my therapist before I even smiled.

We are social animals and we love to laugh with others. Laughter is a joyful emotion best shared. If we associate with other happy minded people then this lifts our spirits. Laughing is infectious so if you can associate with the right people then the need for social distancing diminishes (subject to Covid restrictions). If you are alone it is still possible to laugh at yourself taking care with your self esteem.

I suggest a laughter awareness day (there was a “global belly laugh day” in January 2017 but I’m not sure it has continued). For one day gather all the information you can about when, why and how you have experienced laughter. This story may help:

It concerns a mother with eight young sons. The press officer from the local newspaper rings her suggesting he does a piece for the paper about her family. She invites him round and when he arrives all the family are playing in the back garden. After introducing himself to the mother he says “Who is the young fair headed boy on the swing“. She replies “ Kevin”. “Who is one riding the bike?.” “That’s Kevin “ she replies. “What about the dark haired one with the cricket bat “ “That’s Kevin!” “Are they all called Kevin?” “Yes they are” “ Isn’t that confusing?” “No, its very useful because when I want them all in the house for a meal I just shout Kevin”. “What about if you want to speak to just one of your sons?” “Oh I have to use surnames then!”

The psychological and physiological benefits of laughter have been well researched and documented and there appears to be a specific section of the brain that improves your mood when you laugh. Apparently there are short term and long term benefits.

A day without laughter is a day wasted? Do you agree?


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