422 Humor Enhances Happiness

Research by Wellenzohn, Sara; Proyer, Rene T; & Ruch, Willibald (2016).

Written by Juanita N Baker, Ph.D.

Can you laugh at yourself? Especially in these difficult times, it might be just what the psychologist ordered!

Can we change our happiness and depression by eliciting our good humor? Swiss psychologists measured happiness and depression over 6 months for 600 online participants in 5 groups using for one week, one of five different methods eliciting humor. A placebo sixth comparison group engaged in a non-humorous task, taking all measures too.

Results? For three of the five methods, participants doing the week-long activity increased their happiness scores for 6 months, especially if they liked doing the activity.

All participants reduced depressive symptoms but only immediately after the activity. Bring more laughter into your life! Choose ONE of these effective methods to do DAILY for ONE week and you could see increased happiness for 6 months, especially if you enjoy the activity.

1. Every evening, write down the three funniest things you experienced that day, describing your feelings during each.

2. Notice the daily humor you experience! Plus add humor: read comics, jokes, or watch funny movies or,

3. Count all the funny things happening during the day.Write down the total number every evening.

Enhance laughter in your life!

References: Wellenzohn, S., Proyer, R. T., & Ruch, W. (2016). Humor-based online positive psychology interventions: A randomized placebo-controlled long-term trial. Journal of Positive Psychology, 11(6), 584-94.

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