Humor is like medicine. Actually, it is medicine. The psychological significance of humor and its effects on health are well documented. The anecdotal evidence is overwhelming, too, and anybody who’s busted a gut with a best friend knows the power of humor.
We laugh before we can form sounds into coherent words. It’s true; laughter is the one true vernacular of all people from all places from all time. But in a nation that has grown so polarized and divided in the past few years, what importance does humor, if any, hold for us in today’s culture?
A Bonding Agent
There’s no doubt that humor is a powerful tool for human bonding. How? Think about this: late show host and comedian, Stephen Colbert, said: “Doing things with joy doesn’t make things easier, but it does make them better.” Humor helps create joy, and joy helps bond us in the most difficult of times. Social psychologist Sara Algoe, co-author of the study with Laura Kurtz had this to say about laughter as a powerful bonding agent. “For people who are laughing together, shared laughter signals that they see the world in the same way, and it momentarily boosts their sense of connection.”
In an often divisive world, laughter helps us, if only for a minute, see the world through each other’s eyes.
Laughter as Medicine
You’ve heard the adage, “laughter is the best medicine.” Well, this isn’t too far off from the truth. Good, hearty laughter helps release stress hormones and helps increase infection-fighting antibodies. We could all use a little less stress in our lives, but most of us just can’t walk out of our careers because we’ve had a tough week. The antidote to this chaos? Laughter. Sometimes, the way to solve a problem is to add something joyous and special to the mix, not take something out.
More than that, laughter helps increase blood flow which can help prevent against heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.
Laughter is important, and more importantly, it’s fun. As a busy (and I’ll be the first to tell you, sometimes too busy) professional working in the ever changing world of real estate investing, it’s vital I take some time away to find the time to rest and recharge. I have a lot of interests, a lot of passions, and a family I love that keeps me on the go. But the truth is, I don’t plan on slowing down in any of these areas—I plan on enjoying them to the fullest. And one of the ways I do that is by taking the time to love the little things and enjoy the humor in everything….all day long! Sometimes, you just have to laugh through the business and “stress” even to avoid the worry. On the other side? A better you.