Did you know that today is National Joke Day? Well it is! Here’s a joke you can share with your friends.
“I’ve been many places, but I’ve never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can’t go alone. You have to be in cahoots with someone. I’ve also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there!”
Did that joke make you laugh? Maybe chuckle? Perhaps even crack a smile? If so, it may have improved your health! More and more studies are showing that laughter benefits us both physically and mentally. When you read that joke just now, your muscles relaxed slightly, which relieved tension. Your levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, dropped. Your body released endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that are associated with happiness and contentment. If you had a hearty laugh, your blood pressure may have dropped slightly and your heart rate increased, helping your body improve blood circulation. You also felt good afterwards, which for many is the most powerful effect of laughter.
When you’re having a bad day, it’s often the person who can make you laugh that you turn to. When faced with a difficult or uncomfortable situation, finding the humor in your predicament makes it easier to deal with. People who can laugh through the good times and the bad are generally happier, healthier people. A seven-year Norwegian study found that people who had a sense of humor experienced a 20% lower mortality rate in comparison to those who did not.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful things about laughter is its ability to connect us with one another. When we laugh with someone, we open ourselves up to them. Poet Pablo Neruda once said, “Laughter in the language of the soul,” and we agree. Whether you’re long-time friends or new neighbors, sharing a laugh together increases the bond you share – so go ahead and try it! Host a dinner party and play a fun card game. Invite neighbors over for a hilarious movie. You can even stop by one of our campuses to volunteer during one of our events or activities, and we guarantee you’ll find more than one reason to throw your head back, close your eyes, and enjoy a good laugh.
Laughter has the power to relieve stress, increase happiness, spark friendships and even provide strength during times of hardship or transition. We encourage you to seek out opportunities to laugh, to connect with your neighbors, and to open yourself up to all of the wonderful experiences that are possible in your community. Your mind, body, and spirit will thank you for it.