In my life coaching practice I often get asked by couples how they can strengthen their relationship. Surprisingly enough, my answer is usually to increase the amount of laughter in the relationship. We often underestimate the power of laughter. Have you ever noticed how contagious laughter is? If you want to find out, try this little experiment. The next time you are in a room with another person and things are quiet and nothing’s really funny, start laughing. You will quickly notice how a smile will show up on the other person’s face even though they have no idea what you are laughing about. It never fails that they start smiling and eventually laughing and wanting to know what’s so funny. Laughter triggers the release of your “feel good” chemicals called endorphins. Increased endorphin production can result in reducing anxiety, boosting your mood and improving your overall level of happiness. The combination of laughter and endorphins protects you from harmful stress and relaxes the entire body. Adding “play” to your relationship is a great way to promote the release of endorphins and increase the laughter in your life. Try playing a fun game with your partner or simply have a tickling match. A good gut busting laugh on a daily basis will take your relationship to a higher level.
Research has shown that in relationships laughter increases happiness and intimacy. Being able to make your partner laugh is a way to keep your relationship fresh and full of positive energy. It strengthens your connection and promotes a strong bond between the two of you. Having a strong bond protects your relationship from the negative energy of disagreements, arguments and disappointment. Laughter is a great tool for defusing conflict between yourself and your partner when used in a tactful and respectful manner. Sometimes laughter during relationship conflict can be mistaken as a lack of caring or seriousness, but it actually allows you to shift your perspective and view the situation differently. Laughter during conflict can help you shift from a place of anger and irritation to a place of peace and lightheartedness. If things are tense between you and your partner, schedule a date night and take your partner to see a funny movie or a comedy show. Laughter is one of the best prescriptions that I know for adding joy and positive energy into a relationship, so find something to laugh with your partner about every day.
Dr. Tonya Featherston