I read a shocking piece today in The Daily Telegraph titled ‘Brits’ sense of humour fails at the age of 52, study finds.(It’s slightly subjective but I’m glad I still have at least 2 decades to go lol!!!).
The research carried out by scientists at the University of Glamorgan suggests that both men and women begin to suffer a sharp decline in their sense of humour and get increasingly grumpy.
Dr Lesley Harbidge stated: “The Lifetime of Laughter Scale” shows that there really is a law of diminishing returns when it comes to laughter and the following facts emerged from the study:
- An infant can laugh aloud as many as 300 times every day.
- When teenagers are the age group most likely to laugh at other people’s misfortunes, they laugh on average just six times a day.
- People in their twenties laugh four times a day.
- There’s a slight increase to five times a day throughout your thirties and having children is cited as a major factor in restoring a sense of humour.
- At 50, Brits are laughing just three times a day, while the average 60-year-old manages a hearty guffaw just 2.5 times in the same period.
- We laugh twice as much in our teens as we do in our fifties.
- The art of telling jokes is fast disappearing with most Brits only able to tell two jokes but more than 600 of the 2,000 questioned cannot remember telling a joke in the last twelve months.
Although the research is exclusive to the United Kingdom but kindly pause for a moment with a view to do a bit of soul searching and ask ‘Do You Have A Good Sense Of Humour?’
What is humour?
Humour is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to stimulate laughter and provide amusement.
The Free Online Dictionary describes a sense of humour as the ability to appreciate or express that which is funny.
James Thurber also states, “Humour is emotional chaos remembered in tranquillity.” It could be the understanding of something we didn’t comprehend initially and this occurs every day in misunderstandings at which we laugh.
Humour consists of 3 components:
- The cognitive experience
- The emotional experience.
- The physiological experience (laughter)
There are several events such as emotional difficulties, tube strikes, the failing economy, budget cuts… which make all of us upset and worked up but my challenge today is ‘Get back your sense of humour.’
Mahatma Gandhi said ‘If I had no sense of humour, I would long ago have committed suicide.”
This post attempts to give a sneak peek into what tickles me and highlight the benefits of humour.
In my world, I find the following humorous:
- Practical or funny jokes.
- The whole family (wife and kids) playing together.
- Hearing others laugh.
- Watching my wife change a light bulb.
- Taking pictures.
- Wearing funny caps, masks…
- Dancing or singing sheepishly.
- Comedians, comedy shows, movies….
- Funny incidents.
- My friends’ dog wagging its tail.
- Burps and farts. (Hey!! I must point out not mine because I’m a gentleman and has good habits lol!! but when people let themselves loose through no fault of theirs, it stirs up loads of laughter)
Henry Ward Beecher states “A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It’s jolted by every pebble on the road.”
The benefits of humour are as follows:
- It relieves physical tension and stress.
- It helps you connect with others and strengthens various relationships you’ve established.
- It helps to create a world full of hopes, dreams and curiosity.
- Humour teaches meaning by interpreting the words, voice pitch, facial expressions, body language….
- Humour teaches social skills.
- It promotes likeability among individuals.
- Humour changes how you behave, when youexperience humour you talk more, make more eye contact, touch others
- It makes people feel/get attracted to you as a person.
- Humour quashes conflicts or arguments that could spring up.
- It promotes bonding between individuals.
- Humour improves your mood and reduces anxiety.
- According to medical research, it boosts your immune system and energy levels.
- It instills a form of calmness.
- It enhances optimism in different areas of your life.
- It could make complex situations appear less threatening.
- It allows you express your true feelings.
- It lowers your blood pressure.
- It creates fun and makes you feel great
- At times it helps to increase your creativity.
- It lightens burdens.
- It gives room for self expression and promotes a positive attitude.
- It promotes self acceptance.
- It is therapeutic.
When do you use humour safely?
Well, when another person uses humour with you.
When there’s a close relationship existing between you and the other individuals.
When the event is appropriate.
When the humour is aimed at you.
Do you still have your sense of humour?
It would be great to have your comments and suggestions.