Couples who laugh together and intentionally reminisce about their shared funny experiences are likely to be more satisfied in their relationships. Read this blog to find out why laughter keeps the relationship demons away.
This blog talks about how laughter is indeed the best medicine. A couple who can whole heartedly laugh at jokes and each other truly have fun. When I was doing research for this book, I thought of omitting this chapter out or merging it somewhere else. In hindsight, I realised this chapter needs to be included, and really on the top.A smile starts on the lips, a grin spreads to the eyes, a chuckle comes from the belly; but a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, overflows, and bubbles all around. The phrase laughter is the best medicine is derived from the Bible. In the book of Proverbs, Chapter 17, verse 22 which reads that “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones”. So “laughter is the best medicine” was coined from the first part of the verse as being merry is associated with being happy and having lots of laughter. Laughter is the medicine of life and it is also the secret antidote to having fun in your relationship.
5.1 Laughter is indeed the best medicine
Laughter is a physical reaction in humans consisting usually of rhythmical audible contractions of the diaphragm and other parts of the respiratory system resulting most commonly in forms of “hee-hee” or “ha-ha”. It is usually a response to certain external stimuli and sometimes a remembrance from an event from the past. Sharing a hearty laugh with your partner reduces stress, lightens the mood, induces happy hormones and adds fun into the relationship.
5.2 Benefits of laughter
A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your mood and relief stress instantly, it induces physical changes in your body. Laughter stimulates your organs and these contractions of the diaphragm enhances your oxygen intake and increase the release of endorphins by the brain. It also decreases your blood pressure and soothes tension build up in the body instantly. This can cause your muscles to relax and lighten the mood. Laughter also improves your immune system and can prevent diseases in the long run which are essentially negative thoughts manifesting into chemical reactions.
Laughter isn’t just a quick pick-me-up in a relationship. Laughing with your partner regularly will create many wonderful memories with one another and build a deeper connection. It’s a hit with improving your mood instantly. Sometimes when you have an argument with your partner, you get angry and remain silent. The silent treatment usually backfires, drives you both further apart and escalates the tension. A helpful way to break these deadly silences and return to speaking terms is to try to find humour in the situation.
Sameer and Kathy went to a beach resort for a weekend getaway. They hadn’t spent quality time with each other in a long time without the children. At a romantic candle light dinner, Sameer said something insulting to Kathy and she went silent. That was how she dealt with self-abandonment, by simply shutting off. Fortunately, Sameer had a funny bone and loved cracking jokes. He kept saying something silly and Kathy gave up ( she tried hard to stay angry though) being angry. Almost immediately, the mood lightened up and they didn’t spoil the great weekend just because of a misunderstanding.Of course Kathy’s mood changed voluntarily – however if we can learn to laugh and induce laughter in our relationships, it will help our relationships to a great extent. Humour can be learned. In fact, developing or refining your sense of humour may be easier than you think.
5.3 Reliving past funny moments
This is one way to induce laughter in your relationship. When you relive past funny events and retell funny shared experiences often, those memories can evoke laughter just like the incident previously did and bring about positive feelings about your partner. This shared laughter will obviously lighten the mood. If your partner is having a bad day, humour is a great ice breaker. Try asking if he remembers a funny moment you both shared together. Humbling yourself in front of your partner helps demonstrate that you are willing to be vulnerable in the relationship.
5.4 Add humour into your relationship
Find items such as photos, greeting cards or comic strips, that make you both chuckle. Hang them up at home. Also keep funny movies, books, magazines or comedy videos on hand for when you need an added humour boost. Wacky behaviour can also foster a sense of fun in your relationship that is hard to repeat anywhere else. Simply breaking out into a funny dance for your partner or making a funny face and spending time with your partner and simply laughing will surely add fun and diffuse tension and stress.I have clients telling me – I am not a funny person. How can I add humour into my relationship. Humour is a skill that can be learnt. Do you have to go to a school to learn it? No! Simply watch some comedy show, read a joke book and learn ways to be more funny and witty. There’s no magic formula to learning to be as funny but anyone can learn to be witty in conversations and add humour to their relationships.
5.5 Laugh at yourself
Find a way to laugh about a situation everyday and watch your stress fade away. Even if it feels forced at first, practice laughing. Laugh therapy has become increasing popular these days. Laugh therapy helps us rid ourselves of our own masks of fear and pain. By laughing, you’re able to keep your cool in a stressful situation, make peace with the hurt and pain in your past and deal with the stress better. My grandmother used to do this a lot. For simply no reason, she used to burst out into laughter. I used to think she was loosing some screws here and there and now that I have been loosing my screws, I realise she was indeed tightening them. Laughing is healthy and definitely will make you a fun person. Remember one fun person can make all the difference in the relationship.
5.6 Laughter yoga
Consider trying laughter yoga. In laughter yoga, people practice laughter as a group. Laughter is forced at first, but it can soon turn into spontaneous laughter. This was founded by Kataria, a physician from Mumbai, India and over the years 5,000 laughter clubs have sprung all over the world. When I first attended my laugher yoga class, first after the corpse pose we were asked to simply laugh. I heard a man next to me guffaw loudly and the woman behind me laugh like a hyena. Someone else started giggling and hearing all these funny sounds, I started laughing too. A bit coyly at first but with more fervour and gusto after a while. Going for a laughter yoga session with your partner is the ultimate stress buster and I’m sure both of you will leave more relaxed and happy.
I know we all have different senses of humour and being married to a man with a sick sense of humour has definitely been the glue in my marriage, I am a pretty serious person. Many times in my marriage, his flakiness and sense of humour has diffused major fights we were having. My husband is probably the funniest person I’ve ever met. He has one of those smart-ass, dry sense of humours that not everyone can truly appreciate – but I do. He’s hilarious. Those that know him know that he has no filter – you can take it or leave it. I’ve taken it till now and it continues to hold my interest all all these years later.
In most relationships, the occasional flare up happens from time to time. Some fights are more serious than others, while some are over the silliest of things. Now I’m not saying laughter has solved every problem we have encountered , but his light side did help resolve half the problem itself. He doesn’t take life too seriously and is always the one to end the argument. He makes problems seem smaller than they are and the humour and light heartedness has been the gel in our marriage.