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Why Develop Your Sense of Humor?

sense of humor

A recently rediscovered medicine can:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Increase immunity
  • Prepare you for stress
  • Boost creativity
  • Relieve pain
  • Improve mood
  • Make you more attractive

Would you use it?

It’s absolutely free.


It’s humor. Or, more precisely, it’s a sense of humor.

You can use this medicine anywhere at any time (even church is appropriate). The effect is immediate, and health and mood benefits may be lasting, depending on how frequently you use the medicine.


Try these methods to reap the benefits of laughter.


What’s The Difference between Humor and Laughter?

You don’t have to laugh to experience the benefits of humor, although there’s nothing like a good belly laugh to get your circulation going. A sense of humor goes much further than laughing at someone else’s joke.


A clerk asked, “Can I help you find anything?”

“How about my misspent youth?”


Arlene R. Taylor, PhD, says humor is the precursor to laughter. She writes, “The functions necessary to develop a sense of humor appear to be centered in the right frontal lobe. This part of the brain is alert to subtleties, nuances, and pulls all the threads together (e.g., context, assumptions, knowledge of personal prejudice) in order to ‘get’ the joke including meaning.”

Without a sense of humor, you’ll laugh less, so you’re less likely to gain the additional advantages of laughing. A good sense of humor not only helps you understand the joke, it enables you to see the humor in everyday situations and, hopefully, communicate that to others.


A retiree gloated to his children, “I never know what day it is. All I know is that when the newspaper with all the flyers comes, I have to go to church.”


How Do You Develop a Sense of Humor?

  1. Immerse yourself in humor. Watch stand-up comedians. Read joke books. Watch funny TV shows or movies. Do the jokes apply to your life? Why not use them in social situations?
  2. Develop your wit by using it. Engage in repartee with others to hone your wit. As with any skill, practice makes perfect.
  3. Don’t cater to others’ sense of humor. If you say something just because you think someone else will find it funny, people will know. If you think slapstick humor is crass, don’t use it. Someone will like your sense of humor, and, as a result, you may well make a good friend. However, if you prefer humor that is a little different, such as sarcasm, dirty jokes or the like, make sure your remarks are appropriate for the audience and location.
  4. Consider timing when recounting a story or telling a joke. The biggest mistake most wannabe raconteurs make is rushing through a joke to the punch line. Slow down. Enjoy the words and the sense of anticipation.
  5. Consider your audience and location. A joke about someone slipping may be funny at a party but not at the person’s wedding reception. Try to analyze your audience before saying something questionable, no matter how hilarious you may believe it is.
  6. If you’re bombing, stop and apologize. If you start a joke or a story, and your audience is not receptive or you’ve totally messed it up, don’t try to salvage it. “Sorry, but that joke was much funnier in my head” is always a humorous follow-up.

Just like anything, being a humorous person takes practice. You may find, though, that as you’ve sharpened your joke-telling or story-telling skills, you’ve improved your conversational abilities.


We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.

—Will Rogers


Another advantage is that you’ve spread the benefits of laughter to those around you. And they will be grateful, because laughter makes people feel good. So it’s likely to increase your popularity.

Humor and Success

If you’re a success, it’s likely humor plays a part. According to a Robert Half International survey, 84% of executive believe people with a good sense of humor do a better job. Another study found that a strong work ethic and a good sense of humor are the two most desirable traits in leaders.

At The Esquiline, we see the humor in many aspects of life. We love to hear the laughter of the residents of our senior living apartments.

One of the advantages of residing in a community planned around the needs of older adults is developing interactions with others. Humor is a way to do that, and you’ll hear our staff using it frequently. In fact, we haven’t figured out who generates the most laughs or who laughs the most during the day—staff or residents.

Experience how humor enhances the lives of members of The Esquiline. Give us a call at 800-533-6279 or complete our online form here.

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