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Laughter and how it can improve your mood

How long has it been since you’ve had yourself a good deep belly laugh?  You know, one of those laughs at a humorous time moment or situation where you could feel yourself lighten up and energize inside as you were laughing?  You were laughing so hard that the tears were rolling down your cheeks.  Or, how about a giggle?  How many times did you smile or chuckle today?  The answer, unfortunately for most people in today’s hectic world, is not often enough.

Laughter, a sense of humor and the ability to see the lighter side of situations are important free and easy to use tools that maintain and improve personal wellness.  Laughter decreases blood pressure, relaxes your muscles and slows your heart rate.  It can also decrease stress and improve your outlook and perspective.  As an added bonus, laughter when heard by others also improves their moods.

Today’s research shows that humor that you are already familiar with works more quickly and easily to positively impact you than new humor.  This makes sense because with new humor your brain must decide whether or not what it is hearing or seeing is humorous while your brain already made that decision in the past about a show or episode you’re already seen.  This might explain why children can find the same joke or peek-a-boo activity equally funny no matter how many times they hear or see it.  So, pull out your favorite comedic movies and re-runs of cherished television sit-coms and up your mood.  Play them while you are getting ready for work, doing the washing up or sit down and enjoy them with your full focus.

Tell us your favorite movies, tv shows and other sources of laughter and humour by posting a comment.

Delany Skerrett | CFHP
Delaney Skerrett

Delaney is a senior registered psychologist working with people of all backgrounds and with a special interest in LGBTI+ people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and Indigenous people.

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