Having a sense of humor – and bringing it out in others – can help you in every area of your life. Learn why it's so important to lighten up.
Step 1: Increase your sex appeal Increase your sex appeal by finding the funny side of situations; research indicates that a good sense of humor makes a person more sexually attractive. And be sure to poke fun at yourself: Self-deprecating humor is the most seductive kind of all.
TIP: Women especially find a good sense of humor attractive in a partner.
Step 2: Get ahead at work Take your work seriously, but don't take yourself too seriously at work. Executives with a good sense of humor get promoted more quickly and earn more money than somber peers, according to one report.
Step 3: Improve your health Improve your health by finding things to chuckle about every day: Research shows that laughter improves the function of blood vessels, may boost the immune system, and might even help prevent heart disease.
Step 4: Improve your outlook Find things to laugh out loud about: Studies show that hearty laughter – even if it's forced – reduces stress and increases endorphins. One study found that endorphin levels rose 27% in subjects who were simply anticipating seeing their favorite funny video.
TIP: Get laughing with the help of a laughter club, where people get together to laugh out loud. Or try laughter yoga.
Step 5: Feel less pain Watch a comedy if you're hurting. Laughter can help you withstand pain.
Step 6: Lose weight Laugh off your weight woes. Laughter burns calories; do it 15 minutes a day and you could chuckle off up to two pounds a year. And that's no joke.
FACT: The average preschooler laughs over 100 times a day, compared to just 15 times a day for the average adult.