All About Laughter

Laughter serves a weighty purpose. More than a side-effect of mirth, it acts as a sophisticated social signaling system, helping people bond and even negotiate. Consider this: Most social laughter does not result from any obvious joke.

Yukking it up also has numerous health benefits: It lowers anxiety, boosts the immune system, and aids circulation. These contagious convulsions are anything but frivolous.

Recent Posts on Laughter

A Fun Way to Beat Emotional Eating

By Susan Albers Psy.D. on November 13, 2015 Comfort Cravings
Do you need a quick and easy way to calm your nerves without calories? Try this technique to help break you free from emotional eating.

Focus on the Positive…You'll Live Longer!

Are you a parent battling teenage angst? Taking a positive perspective can help.

The Secret of Effective Speaking Skills from Trump

If you can bear listening to the candidates running for the presidency, you might have noticed that they are in competition with who has had the most difficult, impoverished childhoods. Here's how having a wretched childhood can help you connect with others and become president of the United States.

What I'm Reading Now

One of the main reasons I read outside my own narrow areas of individual expertise is to see whether I can reach over the intellectual fences demarcating professional fields and harvest something useful.

Funny Fun

By Bernard L. De Koven on November 09, 2015 On Having Fun
Playing games that let you be funny together might be the best way we have to create community.

Say No in the Name of Love

Setting boundaries is an art. But it can sometimes be difficult, especially when it comes to setting boundaries with needy people or full-blown narcissists. Here are six ways to stop needy people.

Jokes Endangered

By Scott G. Eberle Ph.D. on November 02, 2015 Play in Mind
Many years ago, with a minivan load of restive kids aboard who needed distracting, I asked them all to tell a joke. In the midst of the silence, my young daughter piped up with a knock-knock riddle I’d made up: “Knock, knock!” she said. “Who’s there?” the rest of them replied, “Margaret Thatcher!” she said. “Margaret Thatcher who?” they wanted to know.

Five Quick Ways to Enhance Your Online Dating Profile

By Martin Graff Ph.D. on November 02, 2015 Love, Digitally
There are simple ways to improve your online impression. For example, males who adopt certain postures are perceived as more attractive and the colour red has long been associated with love and passion.

Other people’s emotions and you

Did you know that you can actually experience the emotions expressed by others around you? Here’s how…

What's your Likability Quotient?

You'll get a lot further in life if you'll likable.

The Hyena That Wouldn't Laugh

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on October 11, 2015 How To Do Life
What is laughable about us?

Living Life While Facing Death

By Nancy Berns Ph.D. on October 01, 2015 Freedom to Grieve
Daniel said his wife wanted to capture life and keep living even as she faced cancer. How can she still have fun even when telling her son she was dying?

How to Maintain Mental Health

By Richard Taite on September 25, 2015 Ending Addiction for Good
The opposite of mental illness is mental health, so let’s think about how we can focus on improving our mental health instead of focusing always on what’s wrong.

The Psychology Of Why Being Funny When Flirting is Vital

Bale, Morrison and Caryl in their study of chat-up lines wondered why men persisted in using so many ‘chat-up’ approaches that were rated as unpopular with so many women – such as boorish jokes, empty compliments, and sexually loaded remarks. They wondered if these strategies were never intended to impress a woman, but merely winnow out which possible ‘targets’ were...

Good, Better and Best Advice for Life After 50

When you tell yourself that your best days are behind are, you pretty much guarantee that they are. Stop worrying about what will happen in ten years because life in ten years won’t be anything like what you’re imaging now.

Why Clients Smile When Talking About Trauma - Part 2

it might surprise you to know why your clients smile when disclosing a trauma.

Are Dogs or Cats More Likely to Make Us Laugh?

People who own pets laugh more frequently than people who do not, but dog owners and those who own cats and dogs, laugh more than those who just own cats. And it is when our pet fails at something or does something unexpected that we are most likely to laugh.

Why Clients Smile When Talking About Trauma - Part 1

Do you have clients who smile or laugh as they recount traumatic experiences? There are possible reasons for this common phenomenon that you can explore in therapy.

Humor, Screens & Children

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on August 18, 2015 Screen Time
A sense of humor can lend itself as a protective factor for troubled or uncertain situations one may have through life’s journey. Included in this piece are some ways to think about humor development as applied to current children’s television programming from birth to elementary school years.

When You're Not Supposed to Laugh

By Bernard L. De Koven on August 13, 2015 On Having Fun
For some people, like people with autism, or people who think of themselves as rejected, isolated, alienated; Not Laughing games are probably more important than we could possibly guess.

Do You Prefer You Pets to Your Friends?

Pets are like a combination between court jesters and strict Freudian therapists: They can make you feel better about the world while never saying a word.

Laughing Matters During Presidential Primary Debates

By Gregg Murray Ph.D. on August 05, 2015 Caveman Politics
How will we, the American Public, evaluate the candidates in the Republican presidential debates?

Blathering, the Game

By Bernard L. De Koven on August 04, 2015 On Having Fun
We could blather about issues disturbingly profound and teasingly inane, free associating with what- and whomever whilst we freely associate.

The Fun Assumption

Suppose you supposed that the only reason you laugh is because it’s fun to laugh. Not because of the endorphins or the health benefits. But only because of the fun. Only because it’s more fun than you can contain.

The Spirituality of Comedian Jim Breuer

Many people know Jim Breuer as one of the greatest standup comedian of all time. What many people do not know is that he uses comedy as well as spirituality to help cope with difficult situations. He shares how both comedy and faith have helped him get through hard times.

Extraordinary Fun

There are games we play just for fun. We laugh together. We become unpredictable, unpackaged, opened to an experience that is, when you think about it, when you compare it to our national pastimes, truly extraordinary.

A Little Good News for a Change

Many studies have shown that couples who enjoy long-term, fulfilling relationships, also tend to experience enhanced self-esteem, clarity of life purpose, a tendency to view things optimistically, and generally, better health.

Did Paleo Man have Drug or Drinking Problems?

By Donna Barstow on June 26, 2015 Ink Blots Cartoons
Mental illness and mental health are not modern. What did cavemen (sorry, Paleo man) do about it?

This May Be the Secret to Happiness in Relationships

You may think the best way to deepen your relationship is to have serious, deep discussions about your thoughts and feelings. However, it may be that sharing a smile rather than deep feelings can be as good, if not better, for your relationship’s long-term health.

Aerobic Laughing: A New Weight Loss Plan

Just like all of us, I've been captivated by Caitlyn Jenner's courageous transformation. She inspired me to take a look at my own body and finally find a way to become the skinny person I've always wanted to be—via laughter.