If you and your partner are still steaming after an argument or if you want to learn how to strengthen your relationship, laughter can help. As we grow older we tend to laugh less, and being angry and serious all the time is not only stressful but can also put a strain on your close relationships.
“Without meaning to, we settle into patterns where our lives develop into a dry, serious, and unsatisfying quality. We have very little joy and fun. We want these things in our relationships but can’t cannot see that we repeatedly deny them to ourselves … [Many couples] don’t play with one another anymore, and laughing together seems to be a ghost of the relationship past. People are generally caught up in serious relationships,” said Enda Junkins in Belly Laughter in Relationships: Something Else Positive Below the Belt.
Don’t let your relationship get to the point where the passion is gone and you don’t enjoy each other’s company anymore. Remember to smile and laugh together like you did at the beginning of your relationship. Here are some ways laughter can help you create a more satisfying union.
Laughter helps diffuse tension
A dose of humor can ease relationship stress. Sometimes when you have an argument with your partner, you’re so angry that all you can do is remain silent or go to another room. However, the silent treatment can backfire by driving you further apart and escalating the tension. A more helpful way to break the silence and return to speaking terms is to try to find humor in the situation (just make sure that your joke is not mean-spirited). Finding the humor in a tense situation is not easy to do, but it can reap great rewards.
“Loving with laughter can give needed relief by assisting people, at least temporarily, [with becoming] distracted from physical and emotional pain, fear, anxiety, other bad feelings, and also from life’s problems and difficult situations. A good, loving ‘laughter break’ often helps people approach a difficulty from a new and better angle, seeing solutions they were blinded to previously,” said psychotherapist Dr. J. Richard Cookerly.
Laughter creates intimacy
Sharing a laugh with your loved one fosters bonding. When people laugh together and genuinely enjoy each other’s company, they can’t help but feel closer and happier. Studies show that when you laugh, endorphins are released into your brain, creating feelings of happiness and an overall sense of well-being.
If your partner is having a bad day, try asking if he or she remembers a funny moment you both shared together or do something that you know always makes him or her laugh. Humbling yourself so that you can make your partner feel more at ease helps demonstrate that you are willing to be vulnerable and put his or her needs ahead of your own.
“Thinking of and acting on a wacky behavior … will foster a sense of creativity in your relationship that is hard to repeat anywhere else. Like sharing a memory, sharing a behavior cultivates vulnerability because it is unlikely you would be willing to embarrass yourself in front of anyone else. But unlike the memory, you not only share your vulnerability, you demonstrate it,” said Dr. Mathis Kennington, a licensed marriage and family therapist.
Laughter can help you fall (and stay) in love
Couples who laugh together tend to have more loving feelings toward each other. When partners laugh, this contributes to a stronger connection. Someone with a good sense of humor can be irresistible. A recent study found that when it comes to couples in the courtship stage, the more a woman laughs when speaking to a man, the greater the chance that she is romantically interested.
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