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The Power of Humor & Laughter

What is sincere humor? What kinds of humor work well during an intense relationship discussion, a critical office meeting, or in a soulful conversation? The use and timing of humor are significant in any of these conversations. Today’s seriousness, the opposite of humor, hovers over the current situation in the world, at the office, and in many homes.


In the context of relief theory, humor serves to reduce stress, anxiety, and anger. When these three trouble makers abound, then addictions, cravings, and habit patterns are present. For example, let’s look at the diet, gym, and cosmetic industries. Most folks take their bodies seriously. Weight gain, bulges, and wrinkles are the enemy. Little do they know that a bit of humor can break the seriousness embedded in these physical concerns. By taking a humorous approach, we’ll create a more empathic mindset and a greater understanding between everyone. At the right moment, humor can diffuse most any tension or conflict. The application of humor invites us to cease taking ourselves so seriously.


“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” - Victor Borge


What type of humor applies in a soulful conversation and what are its benefits?


Humor has the capacity to create positive emotions. It can enhance the overall environment of a soulful conversation. It contributes a depth to an intimate conversation, which builds trust and a sense of well-being between married couples and casual relationships.


Years ago, a friend and marriage and family counselor, coined the phrase, “People are not porcupines!” and applied it to marriage and relationship conflicts. She shared that just the thought of arguing with a porcupine seems ridiculous and often created laughter in couples at the onset of a serious argument. Once the quills popped out, the couple knew to laugh, back up and rethink what is about to be spoken.


When seriousness takes over, we lose our joy. Yes, seriousness is a joy killer! Laughter and joy are known to reduce pain, boost immunity, and lower blood pressure. Norman Cousins, a journalist and professor, initiated this process and used laughter to assist in his healing of ankylosing spondylitis, a serious type of arthritis, which included long-term inflammation. Refusing to take the situation seriously, Cousins learned that ten minutes of laughter a day resulted in two hours of pain free sleep.


Clearly, laughter is a powerful emotion that invites joy and positive emotions. When we laugh, the brain releases endorphins, which are natural painkillers and promote feelings of well-being and pleasure.


When we engage in laughter each day or learn how to share a well-crafted joke, you’ll demonstrate a willingness to show vulnerability and authenticity. As a result, we build trust in others and create deeper connections.


Using humor in creating deeper connections also reveals to us the way we desire to be in our own presence. What does it mean to be with yourself or enjoy yourself? Over the years, research has reported that loneliness and social isolation contribute to conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. Longevity is on our side and our life purpose is more easily identified when humor paves the way of things not only working out well in life, they will work out extremely well.


Living with a sense of well-being, coupled with humor, demonstrate there is more to life than compulsions, anxiety, and taking ourselves and others too seriously. Tapping into soulful humor means we get to laugh and dance with this part of ourselves as we invite our soul to gleefully come through in our life–including our business and relationships. Victor Borge comedian once said, “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” Strive to joyfully ground yourself in this short distance and enjoy life more each day.


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