How to Bring More Laughter into Your Life

What is that saying about laughter and medicine? Turns out, people who attribute healing power to laughter, even in if they do so in a tongue-in-cheek way, are not far off. Laughing has proven health benefits, particularly for the 55+ crowd.

But so many of us have trouble finding the funny in life. According to this article from The Daily News and Analysis, “Research done by William Fry, professor emeritus at Stanford University School of Medicine, has found that kindergartners laugh 300 times a day, whereas adults laugh just 17 times.” That’s a shame! Let’s explore how to train ourselves to use laughter to live a healthier life.

Get to know your sense of humor.

The Daily News and Analysis article has all kinds of good tips on how to live a life full of laughter. Perhaps the best among them: get to know your sense of humor. Everyone enjoys laughing, but for many of us, the object of the laughter may be different. A good sense of humor takes time and self knowledge to develop. Read funny literature (Dave Berry, David Sedaris, Tina Fey, and Mark Twain come to mind.) Listen to funny radio shows—Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion is a scream.

Watch funny movies “Airplane!” (1980). Paramount Pictures.

Surround yourself with people who make you laugh.

Laughter is best when done in a community. According to scientists who wrote their findings in Current Directions in Psychological Science, people laugh 30 times more frequently when they’re with other people than when they’re alone. This makes sense: laughter is a social phenomenon. If you’re looking to develop your sense of humor, surrounding yourself with loved ones who you find funny (and who find you funny!) is an important place to start.

Even when life gets serious, look for the laughter.

Laughing through stress might be the most important part of living a funnier life. Most anyone can laugh when he or she is already relaxed. Finding the funny in stressful situations takes an advanced comedic mind, but it is so important. Even when the going gets tough—in fact, especially then—look for the funny in everyday life. Even if it’s just a cute dog, a weirdly-shaped cloud or a whacky headline, laughter can be your best medicine if you take the prescription.

Last updated: 03.31.2017

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and it is not meant to be relied on as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult your physician before starting any exercise or dietary program or taking any other action respecting your health. In case of a medical emergency, call 911.

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