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Saturday, June 9, 2007

The Importance of Laughter


It has been said “By the time a child reaches nursery school, he or she will laugh 300 times a day. Adults laugh an average of 17 times a day.” (Discovery Health). Tonight we will look at the importance of humor and laughter and how it affects our physical and mental health.

What are the benefits of laughter?
• Reduces stress. Laughter stimulates both sides of our brain and eases muscle
tension
• Lowers our blood pressure
• Elevates our mood (and gives our body a good workout)
• Boosts our immune system (releases antibodies)
• Improves our brain functioning
• Helps us connect with others
• Fosters relaxation

Why do we need humor and laughter?
• Replaces negative emotions with pleasurable feelings
• It changes behavior. We talk more, make more eye contact, touch more
• It increases our energy level
• It makes us feel good and heals our pain
• It is a safe way to introduce ourselves to others (connect)

How can you expand your sense of humor?

• Look for everyday humor. Look for absurd, silly or funny things that happen
around you
• Watch children. Observe how they delight in light things
• Increase your exposure to humor (comedies, joke books, listen to joke tapes,
joke a day online)
• Hang around with funny friends
• If you hear a joke you like write it down (make sure you tell someone else
and brighten their day).

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