All About Laughter

Laughter serves weightier purposes than turning noses into milk spigots. More than merely a side-effect of mirth, it acts as a sophisticated social signaling system, helping people bond and even negotiate status. Consider that 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

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.

Watching a Play about Anorexia

The benefits and dangers of creating art out of illness.

Reassessing Asperger's

A person with Asperger's Syndrome (AS) has difficulty with Theory of Mind: our ability to appreciate another person's point of view. But AS people can be very adept at noticing what people think and feel about them. This is a different perspective on perspective: that we are more interested in what people think or feel about us and later about what they think or feel.

Lessons in Speaking From The Heart

By Greg O'Brien on May 12, 2015 On Pluto
Laughter can be a powerful antidote to dementia—the pain, conflict, and stress of it. A good laugh, doctors say, reduces tension and can leave muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes. Laughter boosts the immune system, decreases stress hormones, and triggers the release of endorphins—the natural drug of choice.

Black Comedians Poke Fun at Racial Stereotypes

Black Comedians Poke Fun at Racial Stereotypes. The comedian’s goal is to get us to laugh with him while laughing at him. By Michelle Stephens, PhD

Smartphones for Dummies—and Young People

You've hemmed and you've hawed, but finally you've given in and bought your child a smartphone. Now, the challenge begins: how do you ensure that he or she uses it wisely? Here are 10 guidelines to promote respectful, responsible use of your child’s new gadget.

The 4 Styles of Humor

What do you find funny, and what sort of humor appeals to you? Research has focused on different humor styles, and distinguishes four types.

Tired of Being 'Stuck' in Your Relationship?

There is an art to creating and embracing change so you can reinvigorate your relationship.

Body Smart

Your diaphragm plays a huge role in your tension and relaxation.

Redditor to Redditor

Young men are finding new ways to reach out to each other and older generations for advice and mentorship.

10 Signs of True Love

Two selfish creatures committing to a life partnership need an ironic frame.

Loving the Process Means Everything for Creativity

By Gregory Ciotti on April 13, 2015 Habits, Not Hacks
Artists must enjoy the process of creation for its own sake.