4. The Benefits of Humor

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Humor has been around for as long as there has been humanity. Most dictionaries define humor as "the quality of being amusing or comic, especially as expressed in literature or speech." It is an important tool in communication and socialization between human beings, especially in the United States. Many tense moments between people are lightened by the use of humor. A person who possesses a good sense of humor is usually regarded as a friendly person who is fun to be around. Humor has been known to relieve stress also.

Humor is everywhere. For example, laughter is one of the first things you do as a newborn, and, if all goes well, it will be one of the last things you do before you die. If you try going through a day without a laugh, you'll find that it's downright impossible. Humor is also not exclusively a human experience. Many creatures in the animal kingdom have been observed engaging in humor and laughter. Additionally, humor influences many of our daily decisions such as the websites, books, and magazines we read, the television shows and movies we watch, and the people we decide to talk to or not. The importance of humor cannot be understated.

Humor has physical benefits, too. Laughter, especially a hearty laugh, has been shown to benefit your circulation, lungs, and muscles, especially muscles around the belly area. Humor also helps people deal with pain and physical adversity. It has been discovered that humor improves the overall makeup of the human psyche when used during times of grief such as a death in the family. Thinking about the fun times you may have had with a deceased person may seem inappropriate, but studies have shown it helps people cope with the grief to a great degree, so go ahead and have a good laugh once in a while.

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