Meaning & Purpose

Strengths that give our lives meaning, including appreciation of beauty and excellence, thankfulness, hope, humour & playfulness and spirituality.

Humour & Playfulness

is enjoying laughter and bringing smiles to the faces of others. Most people would agree that laughter has a positive effect on their mood and recent research suggests that laughter can have significant positive effects for both our physical health and mental well-being. Perhaps most surprising, is that people were found to report significant benefits from smiling, or simulating laughter, even when this was for no reason (Strack et. al. 1988). In other words, if you want to feel happy, act happy! This finding has led to the emergence of 'laughter clubs' across the world where groups of people come together to practise breathing and stretching exercises, combined with laughter (Kataria, 2002). Investigation continues into the effects of laughter on the human brain and body although the positive effects of laughter in interactions with other and our ability to recollect happy events is easily observed (Schnall, 2003).

Simple Ways to Practise Humour & Playfulness

  • Watch a funny film, or television programme with your family, or a friend
  • Learn a new joke every day to tell your friends
  • Draw a caricature of someone close to you, who you like
  • Keep a journal of jokes and pictures that make you laugh
  • Write a limerick
  • Cheer up a friend who's feeling down
  • Play with your pet
  • Try to see the funny side of daily hassles, like queuing for the bus, or being held up by a person walking slowly in a narrow corridoor
  • Make a den indoors using bedsheets and furniture
  • Build a snowman during winter, or a sandcastle at the beach