How Laughter Positively Impacts Our Relationship
“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”
Victor Borge (Popular Danish comedian, conductor and pianist in the mid/late 20th Century)
Mentally, laughter gives us a boost of energy and a chance to switch off – it’s almost impossible to think of anything else while you’re laughing.
Emotionally, the surge of happy hormones and release of stress set you up in a good mood and reduced tension for the rest of the day.
And there are less well known, but no less valuable, social benefits of laughter.
Laughter can positively change relationships
¹Laughter expert Robert Provine (Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County) has found that laughter is mainly a social behaviour that helps to build and maintain social bonds. In other words, laughter is a powerful force for change in our relationships.
When we laugh together we show people that we like them, agree with them, understand them, and are part of the same group. Making time to relax and laugh with friends is a sure-fire way to reinforce friendships.
Laughing together can make it easier to communicate and work together. The result? If things get tricky or tense, laughter can lower a competitive drive and make it more likely to work together as a team.
Build stronger relationships through humour:
We laugh most when we’re talking to others, and in those conversations we are rarely laughing at actual jokes.
Laughter is more likely to come about when people who know or like each other, or want to connect, are talking. So smile. Be ready to laugh. See the funny side of things.
You’ll find yourself giggling, chuckling or falling about more often than you might expect, while building new and stronger relationships.
Try these to bring more laughter into your life:
- Laughter Yoga is based on the idea that you can make yourself laugh and reap the rewards.
- ²UK agency Laughology works to bring play and laughter into the workplace. They suggest, “Think of positive banter as verbal tickling. This helps to keep our relationships fresh, sparky and re-energised and foster an environment that enjoys laughter” and “If you see something that makes you laugh, make a note and, more importantly, tell someone, pass it on and laugh until it hurts!”
- ³The US-based Laughter Online University is a resource for people who seek the physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual benefits of laughter, and – more importantly – people who want to have fun making a difference in social and business settings.
Malcolm Vincent, Managing Direct – Lifeplus Europe in our Warehouse