The Benefits of a Good Sense of Humor

02 November, 2020
Did you know that laughter and a sense of humor are actually good for you?

A good sense of humor leads to a lot of laughter and is often a much-needed escape from the stress of everyday life. Laughing is relaxing and makes you feel calm and happy. Knowing how to tell jokes and make those around you laugh improves social communication and relationships. After all, who doesn’t want to be around someone who makes them laugh? You’ve probably heard that laughter is good for you, but do you know the benefits of a good sense of humor? Keep reading to find out.

A good sense of humor can improve your blood pressure and reduce anxiety. Psychoneuroimmunology was born of the discovery of the many connections between the central nervous system (your brain and spinal cord), the endocrine system (responsible for releasing hormones), and the immune system (in charge of releasing antibodies to fight against disease).

One of the conclusions researchers in this field have drawn is that being in a good mood can protect you from some illnesses and improve the prognosis of others such as cancer, diabetes, and asthma. It goes without saying that having a good sense of humor is hugely important for a positive mood.

Specialists at the Spanish Society of Neurology presented a report in 2015 that showed that people who laugh regularly are 40% less likely to have vascular problems. That translates to about 4.5 years of life.

When you laugh, your body releases endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, which calm you down and reduce your pain perception. That, in turn, helps you see things more clearly and not make mountains out of molehills.

A good sense of humor actually relaxes your muscles and lowers blood pressure. As a result, it helps keep your heart healthy and reduces your risk of suffering from a heart attack or stroke.

“A polar bear walks into a bar and says to the bartender, “I’ll have a Gin and… Tonic”.

The bartender asks, “Why the big pause?”

And the polar bear replies, “I don’t know, I’ve always had them.”

A girl making her boyfriend smile.

A good sense of humor is great for your relationships

Laughter and humor improve your mood and make you feel better. When that happens, you project your good feelings on others. People are attracted to those who make them laugh and smile. Two Swedish studies looked at the relationship between attractiveness and smiles. They discovered that people with more frequent and sincere smiles were considered more attractive.

As good as it is for us, it’s something that people do less as they get older. One recent study about humor found that adults tend to laugh between 15 and 100 times a day, compared with children’s average of 300 times a day.

Children are more spontaneous and don’t analyze the long-term consequences that an event might have on their lives. The secret might be to just laugh without any reservations and fully enjoy a good chuckle whenever you can.

A man walks into a bar and orders a drink.

A minute later he hears, “You look great. Have you lost weight?” He looks around, but there’s no one near.

Again, a minute later, he hears, “You know, you don’t look a day over 30.” The man looks around again, but there’s no one but him and the bartender, so he asks, “Did you hear that?”

The bartender says, “It’s the peanuts. They’re complimentary.”

A woman with hair over her face drinking coffee.

Benefits for your cognitive abilities

Laughter captures our attention in such a way that people who make us laugh seem more attractive. As a result, a good sense of humor actually enhances information retention.

A study conducted by Melissa B. Wanzer and published in the scientific journal Communication Education found that humor captures the attention of the people around whatever, or whoever, is funny. Also, it facilitates compression of what’s happening and makes the content processing more dynamic. In other words, a good sense of humor makes learning easier.

Telling and understanding jokes both require creativity, wittiness, skill, and other abilities that are harder to acquire. A good sense of humor helps you have a positive view of things, while simultaneously allowing you to escape from reality for a moment. Those bits of time when you’re enjoying something funny are good for your cognitive functions, your immune system, and your relationships.

In conclusion, a good sense of humor has a whole slew of benefits. Laughing gives you life and improves your well-being. Fortunately, today, there’s an incredible amount of funny material at your disposal, whether it be in books, TV, movies, or on the internet, ready and waiting to make you laugh.