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

Who Wipes Who? Life After Depends

By Eliezer Sobel on February 08, 2016 The 99th Monkey
Although I knew it wasn’t really the “right” thing to think, I was nevertheless secretly grateful to Alzheimer’s; it had allowed for the healing of my relationship with my mother.

Laughter Helps Us Learn

By Susan Weinschenk Ph.D. on January 26, 2016 Brain Wise
Laughter releases neurochemicals in the brain that help you learn -- even toddlers learn more when they laugh.

Healthy, Relaxing Things to Do on a Snow Day

By Linda Wasmer Andrews on January 22, 2016 Minding the Body
You could spend your snow day doing laundry … but don’t. Here are eight more relaxing, satisfying ways to ride out a snowstorm.

Re-setting Your Happiness Set Point Part 2

What practices can raise your set point for happiness?

Three Reasons to Celebrate Global Belly Laugh Day Jan. 24

Belly laughs heal and strengthen. A wave of laughter will circle the world on Jan 24. Here's how to join, and get permanent benefits from making space in your life for laughs.

Advice to Isis (Brown)

By Izzy Kalman on January 15, 2016 Resilience to Bullying
Isis Brown's viral video pleads for help for kids who get made fun of because they share a name with the world's most despised terror group. Here is the timeless solution.

How to Have The Best Birthday Ever: Celebrate Your REAL Age

Birthdays as a reward for having shown up 365 days in a row. It's like getting a badge for attendance.

Re-setting Your Happiness Set Point: Part 1

“The purpose of life is to be happy” - His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Inter-generational Games Night

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on January 02, 2016 Moral Landscapes
Just imagine playing board games, cards, and hanging out with seniors, neighbors, children, preteens, teens, and other adults. This scene is something that can happen anywhere in A

Good Times in the New Year

By Marty Babits on December 30, 2015 The Middle Ground
Good Things in the New Year

Why Close a Street to Play as a Community?

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on December 28, 2015 Moral Landscapes
Did you play in the streets when you were a kid? I sure did. Here is how you can make it happen again--as an adult.

Pushing Play in the Community

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on December 26, 2015 Moral Landscapes
The people of Takoma Park work together to make sure it’s a safe place for children to play, reports a 16-year-old player-observer.

9 Ways to Improve Your Relationship This Year

How will you make your relationship better in the new year? Here are some ideas - make your resolutions now!

Why Liz Miele Wants Our Attention

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on December 22, 2015 Brick by Brick
Liz Miele is teaching us a valuable lesson: Finding healthy ways of getting attention is one of the keys to a happy life

On the Other Side: From Grief to Laughter and Play

An individual in recovery from an eating disorder is no longer bound by food, weight or body image preoccupation. This Holiday Blog looks at letting go & the joy in food.

Laughing at Mental Illness?

Who is making the joke and why? Comedy helps people cope with mental illness.

Mirror Neurons and the Multiplicity of Dream Figures

By Michelle Carr on December 16, 2015 Dream Factory
Your dreaming mind is responsible for creating and juggling several dream characters at once, attributing distinct feelings, voices, and actions to each. How is this possible?

The Play Lady Tells Us How to Become Play-ers

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on December 13, 2015 Moral Landscapes
Think back to your childhood, did you know a child who was outside playing all the time? Pat Rumbaugh was one of those children. Now she helps everyone play.

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?