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    Case Situation: How do you cheer an angry person? Your wife is angry, furiously mad, to the point that she refuses to talk. You know very well that if nothing were to be done, you would be in serious trouble.

    Solution:

    If you are concerned about the social and health consequences of her anger, making her laugh might be the best medicine to loosen tension and initiate the dialogue that would erase the anger and later restore health for the family. What can you do in the above case situation?

    Try the "incongruity theory of laughter"; which states that people laugh when they observe things appear together, that do not normally go well together. Example: with the angry wife, the "incongruity theory of laughter" can be applied like this: in a surprise mood, show-up at the dinner table wearing her nightgown (if it fits) and insist on keeping it on till the end of the dinner; - husband in wife’s nightgown! An instance when 2 things are not expect together! This will definitely generate a big laugh.

    Based on the same theory, you may also try this. Place a piece of masking tape over your reading glasses and walk to the dinner table. Pretend to read an interesting newspaper article to your infuriated wife, or your boyfriend or girlfriend if appicable. Masking tape over reading glasses are things that normally do not appear or expected together; this can also generate a big laugh or chuckle that can loosen the angry girlfriend’s tension. You should thereafter discuss the cause of the anger, whereby you will reap the emotional-health benefits of laughter.




    Corbis.com

    Life is a myriad of challenges and hardships, and it is not always easy to stop and lighten up occasionally. The following are some tips to help you put more humour in your hectic, stressful life.

    1. Have fun and enjoy life. Whenever obstacles are met, just repeat to yourself, "Life is crazy," and "It's OK to be foolish on occasion."

    2. Stress can be easily dissipated with a routine dosage of humour. Watch a hilarious movie. Go for a humorous play. Keep repeating this dosage as frequently as possible.

    3. If possible, turn a "coffee break" into a "laugh break". You might want to allocate a "laughter package" or even reserve a small area in your house where you place objects which will make you laugh. Some examples are photos, a collection of jokes and funny stories, comical disguises or props and other objects that remind you of joyful occasions.

    4. Make a "silliness" check once every day. Make people around you see you smile, whether at home or at a meeting. A well-developed sense of humour is especially necessary to avoid stress for people in certain professions, like teachers, doctors, educators, nurses, counselors, farmers, ranchers, etc.

    5. Lighten up. View imminent calamities through the eyes of your favorite comedian. Think about what he or she will react to this incident.

    6. Spend time with those who help you see the bright side. Get together regularly with friends to share funny stories about daily disasters, with an eye toward constructive solutions.

    7. Learn how to laugh. If you wished you were able to laugh but could not, or if you are feeling angry, afraid or grief because of divorce, illness or any other major stress sources, force yourself to laugh anyway. Think about what is bothering you and try a "tee-hee." If that does not make you feel better, try a throatier "heh-heh," then a "ha-ha" from the chest, or a "ho-ho" from the belly. If your laughter ignition seems hard to start, think of something absurd to help trigger your mirth.




    Corbis.com

    Here is how can you add laughter and humour to your everyday life:

  • Hang around with humorous friends, or better yet, marry a funny partner.

  • Start looking for the absurd, silly, incongruous activities that go on around you in your daily life.

  • Take a 5-10 minute humour break each day. Read jokebooks or compile your own. Watch a hilarious tape.

  • Rent comedy videos, go to a funny movie, watch humorous programs on television.

  • If you hear a joke you really like, write it down, or tell it to someone else to help you remember it.

    Remember that even in the most difficult of times, a laugh, or even simply a smile, can go a long way in helping you feel better. Most importantly, laughs and smiles are enjoyed best when shared with others.



    In conclusion, how can you make yourself to laugh more often?

    Practice the three Rs:

    1. Remind yourself to look for something humorous in your life and from others;

    2. Remember the humour when it occurs; and

    3. Retell what happened to someone else.

    Individuals who are more relaxed and spontaneous, laugh more, cause the most laughs, are more creative, and often have more friends; they are also healthier, live longer, and also more likely to have healthier marriages. Note: Situations that produce laughter differ from culture to culture, hence as you practice the three Rs, to enjoy "the good medicine" in laughter, try to be culturally sensitive, and never, never make fun of others by laughing at them.

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