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A merry heart does good, like medicine

What happens physiologically when you have a good laugh? There is a release of endorphin, a brain chemical which causes you to relax. At the same time there is a release of norepinephrine, a brain chemical which causes you to be alert. If you can laugh in the face of stress, you will become more relaxed, yet energized and in a more creative, productive mental state. Laughter stimulates deeper breathing in the diaphragm, which causes a higher intake of oxygen into the body. It also invigorates the nervous system, while at the same time relaxing muscle tension.

Humor has little to do with your ability to tell jokes. One of the characteristics of a person with a good sense of humor is their willingness to laugh at themselves. Decorate your living space and work environment with artifacts that stimulate more humor. Place interesting conversation pieces on your tables or funny posters and cartoons on your walls to make your space feel more relaxed and enjoyable. Also be more responsive to others’ attempts to be humorous. The shortest distance between you and others is a good laugh.

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