WOW Word-Of-the-Week #79: Laughter

May 12, 2009 by  

Laughter – to give audible expression to an emotion.

Dixie Lea 1944 - 2006

Dixie Lea 1944 - 2006

How often do you laugh? To me a laugh is one step beyond a giggle. Did you know that laughter has many benefits?

When it comes to reducing stress, they suggest you repeat your favorite joke. Watch a hilarious comedy. Read a funny book or magazine. Research suggests that laughing increases dopamine, the brain’s natural feel-good substance.

Don’t feel like laughing? Simply hearing laughter can help lift the black mood. Austrian researchers have depressed patients listen to a CD filled with giggles and chortles in addition to taking their medication. Those who listened showed significant improvement compared to those who went without the laugh track.

This week I want you to focus on laughing more. I get the newspaper specifically for the comic strips! Rent a funny movie. Come up with a funny joke you can tell at home or at work.

Every time you laugh you release dopamine. Notice how good you feel and how you are responding to any potentially negative situations that arise. Notice how your laughter reduces your stress.

Reader Responses

“I had a friend who had cancer. She was always in pain and she would watch a hilarious comedy to relieve her pain. It is so true that laughter is good for the soul. It is also catching. Have you ever been in a room with people laughing and all of a sudden you too began to laugh.” — Don Vance

” I believe if one can’t laugh, especially at oneself, then you’re really not living at all!” — Cathie Capolino

“Thanks for the input regarding laughter and dopamine. I was not aware there was a connection. When I get the chance I try to watch reruns of Seinfeld because the story lines and characters crack me up every time I watch them. Kristen and I will rent the occasional comedy for something to laugh at during the weekend. A good laugh really lifts the spirits and makes me forget about whatever minuscule problem I was worrying about that day.  While my wife does not like to watch The Three Stooges, I just have to laugh. Those shorts are as funny today as when they were first released. I can’t help but laugh at them. We all could use a good laugh – every day. Take care, Susan. Thank you. “Warrior”–Joe Moran.


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