Delaware Relationship Counselor: Laughter in Your Relationship

ciecko_laughter_aprilHumor is one of the top qualities someone looks for in a partner, and for good reason. While being “the funny one” in a relationship is a coveted title for many, simply being able to laugh with your partner on a regular basis can do wonders for your sense of closeness and connection. Couples who laugh together, last together. So with April being National Humor Month, I wanted to talk about the ways in which laughter is important for your relationship.

Laughter makes you feel good. We’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine, but there’s more truth to that statement than you might think. Surprisingly, laughter has a ton of health benefits that you might not even be aware of.

Laughter helps relieve stress and lighten your burdens. It boosts your immune cells. When you laugh, you release endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals in your brain that promote a feeling of well-being and can even relieve pain. And on top of the physical benefits, laughter can help your mental health by easing your fears and anxieties and instantly improving your mood.

The lesson here is that the more you laugh in a relationship, the better you’ll feel overall. And the better you feel, the better your relationship.

Laughter binds people together. A University of North Carolina study looked at the effects of laughter in a relationship by recording couples’ conversations. The results showed that participants who laughed more with their partners reported feeling closer to and more supported by them. Laughing triggers positive, happy feelings and an emotional connection, which ultimately brings you closer together and strengthens your bond.

Laughter can help you resolve conflicts easier. Couples disagree. They argue. They get into fights. It’s only natural. But it’s how couples deal with these spats that says a lot about their relationship.

Laughter can help you defuse conflict and ease a tense situation with a well-timed joke. It can help you smooth over differences and approach a sensitive topic more openly. When laugh, you can let go of your defenses and take criticisms and judgments in stride.

Laughter also allows you to look at the silly, humorous side of a conflict and gain a better perspective on your situation. Through laughter, you might realize that – in the grand scheme of things – your hardship isn’t actually that bad.

A slight note of caution, though – there are times when trying to laugh or joke about something can make you seem insensitive. If humor in a particular situation seems to make your partner more upset, quickly cut it out and make sure they know you are taking them seriously.

That being said, in general laughter is a great thing!

So how can you create opportunities to laugh with your partner?

  • Watch a funny TV show or movie
  • Reminisce about shared funny memories and experiences
  • See a comedy show
  • Share a joke you heard
  • Play a game
  • Do a fun activity like bowling or mini golf
  • Act silly and goof around
  • Get a pet
  • Be spontaneous
  • Smile

Laughter is an important and necessary part of a great relationship, but it is often overlooked. So in honor of National Humor Month, I urge you to go home and do or say something to make your partner smile, chuckle, giggle, and laugh themselves silly.

If you and your partner need help bringing the laughter back into your own relationship, reach out to a Delaware Relationship Counselor today.

Walt Ciecko, Ph. D., BCB
605 Wynyard Rd
Wilmington, DE 19803