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

Jodi Arias Update

The Jodi Arias jury deliberations continue.

Hiding From Relationship—In Relationship

The suppression of the emotional vitality that we call passion is both the benefit and the cost of irrelationship, and a side effect of the process that creates it. Relationships can be enlisted in the service of defense in many ways. In irrelationship, the enlistment is constructed by two people, and enforced by both.

Teasing: Seven Myths You'll Be Relieved To Debunk

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on March 03, 2015 in Ambigamy
"Touchy touchy. You're being too sensitive!" "No I'm not. You're just being incredibly insensitive." Here's a quick guide to deciding who is being hypersensitive and who is being insensitive.

Colorblindness Is a Poor Adaptation to Neo-Diversity Anxiety

American racial, intergroup anxiety is getting worse. And one poor adaptation people are trying to use to avoid their own racial neo-diversity anxiety is the “I don’t see color” strategy.

50 Ways to Reduce Anxiety

By Alice Boyes Ph.D. on March 03, 2015 in In Practice
Mega list of strategies for dealing with anxiety.

Divorce Equality

While there is a lot of press about gay marriage, there is much less reporting of gay divorces.

Aging Mindfully

By Christa Smith Psy.D. on February 28, 2015 in Shift
Aging Mindfully

How to Find Proof That Hope is Not Lost

By Gregg McBride on February 28, 2015 in The Weight-ing Game
The little, seemingly innocuous ways you take care of yourself are your proof that you care about yourself. And this "proof of caring" can be the first step toward committing yourself to lasting and permanent change when it comes to other matters like losing weight, embracing wellness, and/or getting healthier.

Should Health Care Providers Joke About Patients?

By Jean Kim M.D. on February 26, 2015 in Culture Shrink
Medical Gallows Humor can help providers cope, but at what cost to the care provider-patient relationship?

5 Ways to Get the Most out of Your Relationship

Relationships are an important part of our overall happiness and even our health. As satisfying as they can be, they can also present us with significant challenges. These research-based 5 suggestions will help you tip the cost-reward balance in your favor, for your sake, and that of your partner.

Personality Disorders Explained 2: Origins

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on February 24, 2015 in Feeling Our Way
Every cognitive map of the social world also defines a role for the person to play; a personality disorder implies a limited number of acceptable roles.

How to Slow Down Your Busy Life

By Leslie Becker-Phelps Ph.D. on February 24, 2015 in Making Change
If you feel overwhelmed by the pace of your life, it is time that you slow it all down and take back control. It will make your life better and you happier. You can do this by using four basic approaches.

Can You Turn Your Weaknesses Into a Strength?

Let’s be honest, although we all have them no-one really likes having these weaknesses pointed out. Especially when it comes to our work. But what are the the most effective strategies for applying your strengths or dealing with your weaknesses to ensure your career continues to flourish? Find out what the latest research suggests.

Discovering Peace of Mind

By Leon Pomeroy Ph.D. on February 22, 2015 in Beyond Good and Evil
I became the person I always wanted to be

Tired of Being Tired? – Stop Your Energy Drains

By Randi Gunther Ph.D. on February 20, 2015 in Rediscovering Love
Many of my therapy patients are telling me these days that they are overwhelmed and exhausted in ways they have never felt before. They can’t seem to find the time or space to regenerate, and they are overwhelmed with what they feel obligated to accomplish.

Object Permanence In Adult Life

Eye contact, a pat on the back, a smile of appreciation, and a shared laugh-out-loud of sheer pleasure are the best and most direct signals of communication, after all.

Emotions As a Second Language - Or Should They Be Our First?

Emotional literacy is being able to feel and identify one’s feeling states. This fluency enhances emotional self-regulation, lessens over-reactivity to negative emotions such as anger, and is the basis of interpersonal emotional modulation.

21 Ways to Get Closer to Your Child Today

Research shows that we need at least five positive interactions to each negative interaction to maintain a healthy, happy relationship that can weather the normal conflicts and upsets of daily life. This is true for our relationships with our children as well.

Is There Time in Your Type-A Lifestyle for Friendship?

By Rick Miller LICSW on February 19, 2015 in Unwrapped
Socializing, connecting and laughing with friends are an essential part of happiness. We need to take a moment, press "escape", unplug, and make space for friendship. Don’t click “like” if you agree, call me!

4 Ways to Keep Your Cool, No Matter What

With these four simple steps we can become emotionally resilient, gracefully and calmly handling every situation that comes our way.

In Love and Life, Keep a Sense of Humor

By Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. on February 17, 2015 in Emotional Fitness
We cannot travel through life without hitting a few speed bumps. When you can find the humor in it, things will go much easier for both of you. Sometimes that may take a little effort, and perhaps you will find something amusing and your partner will not, or the other way around, and that’s OK. A sense of humor may be your best friend (next to your mate).

The Valentine’s Day Bomb

I say, let’s bring back the fun in Valentine’s Day! Let’s make Valentine’s Day be about love in all its incarnations. Let’s throw love at our friends, family and dog, and do something special for them, even if it’s just a phone call. Let’s make an effort to smile at strangers and warmly thank the guy in the café when he hands you your coffee.

Physics and Poetry: A Polymath’s Creative Strategy

Where do successful individuals find inspiration and energy to do the things they do? Some may harbor their forces, focused on a single passion. Yet others take on multiple problems or even multiple careers. What? They let a hobby eat up their time? They split their energies between two careers? How does that enable success?

From "Sex and the City" to Marriage, “The Longest Date”

By Elise Ballard on February 12, 2015 in Epiphany
Award-winning, former "Sex and the City" writer Cindy Chupack talks candidly with Elise Ballard about her epiphanies and insights on life, love, romance, writing, and therapy, as well as her new book about the trials and tribulations of marriage and starting a family.

College-Bound Veterans

PTSD is an injury, not a mental illness.

The Science of Raising Happily Productive Kids: A Podcast

Intelligence and creativity are controversial topics, with expert opinion ranging widely in a number of directions. In this podcast, Scott Barry Kaufman and I discuss some of these controversies. In response to his thoughtful questions, I provide some practical suggestions for parents and teachers who want to support kids in living happily productive lives.

Je Suis Brian Williams

By Laurie Essig Ph.D. on February 11, 2015 in Social Studies
Je suis Brian Williams. I am Brian Williams. Aren't we all Brian Williams?

Why Couples Need Other Couples

By Geoffrey Greif Ph.D. on February 10, 2015 in Buddy System
Couples should consider spending Valentine's Day with another couple they both admire and respect. Seeing a spouse/partner happy in a couple's friendship can make that spouse/partner even more attractive.

Caught Off-Guard by Breast Cancer: First Impressions

By Toni Bernhard J.D. on February 09, 2015 in Turning Straw Into Gold
Except for what I’ve been told by people who’ve written to me about their experiences with cancer, this was a new medical arena for me. I’ve learned that it’s a world onto its own in many ways. Nothing was familiar to me. It’s been a disorienting experience.