Laughter really can be the best medicine.

Let’s face it; we are all very aware that life can easily get either boring or complicated. Our everyday existence can be just that— existing. We get up, shower, shovel in something that resembles a breakfast along with a shot of caffeine, load ourselves into aluminum capsules and head down the congested highway to face another day of problems that need to be solved. And even if you are in a job that is fun and fulfilling you can still be faced with too much of the same basic activity day after day. Then at the end of the day we do much of the same in reverse— heading back to that place we call our castle only to be faced with home routines and family problems and concerns.

Sometimes life can get heavy with the burdens that a day can place on us If we don’t take time to reconnect with our sanity we can lose touch with some of the most important parts of our lives; our relationships. Humor and playfulness can help us overcome boredom and it can lighten the atmosphere in the house allowing people to reconnect and feel close, remembering why they decided to pair up in the first place. After all, most people start a relationship out while having fun— flirting, joking around and just being playful. In fact most romances begin during a state of high arousal such as parties, weddings, dances, or even a work place that has a lot of exciting things going on. We crave fun times and the emotional high they bring.

Laughter and fun release endorphins—the “feel good” hormone. Laughter relaxes us, relieves tension and boosts the immune system. Laughter helps us to increase infection fighting anti-bodies and even helps increase blood flow to the heart helping ward off heart disease.

But wait—there is more. The mental health benefits include an increase in joy and enthusiasm not to mention an improvement in mood. Laughter helps decrease stress and the accompanying stress hormones that can make us sick. And if that were not enough, laughter and playfulness can ease anxiety and enhance resiliency.

So you may ask, “What does this have to do with relationships?” Earlier I stated that people fall in love during periods of high arousal. Therefore, by allowing for or creating times of joy, you create new moments of high arousal and new opportunities to inject some of that “feel good” hormone into the relationship. This promotes bonding and renewed attachment and this helps strengthen the relationship.

What does this have to do with dating? The message if you haven’t heard it yet is to get out and do something fun. Create a community of friends whom you can laugh and be playful with. Life is too serious so lighten up once and a while. Even being a volunteer can connect you with people who enjoy life. In fact people who are out helping others are often the types of people who find joy in the act of giving. Take a class, learn a new sport, sign up for a tour or a trip or even host a party. Just get out and get involved—always with an eye open for someone who can bring out that playful side in you or you for them.

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