Lessons in Laughter
Did you know that a preschooler laughs up to 400 times a day while the average adult laughs 7 to 15 times a day?
In 1976 Joel Goodman founded The Humor Project, Inc. He realized the health and emotional benefits of mirthful laughter. Since then he teaches people to use laughter through workshops, conferences, videotapes and books. Dr. Goodman also teaches doctors and nurses to use humor as a tool in their jobs. We definitely agree with two of Dr. Goodman's favorite sayings: “A smile is the shortest distance between two people” and "Take your job seriously and yourself lightly."
In March 1995 Dr. Madan Kataria, a doctor from India, discovered from his research that laughter helps the body and mind. One day he went to a local park and managed to motivate four people to form a laughter club. After a while the laughter club grew, but soon the jokes started getting offensive. So he began additional research and found that fake laughter worked just as well. His wife Madhuri was a yoga teacher and suggested that he use yoga with laughter. It was a big success. Today, there are over 5,000 laughter clubs in various countries!
Dr. Paul McGhee created the Laughter Remedy and became a full-time professional speaker on humor and its health benefits in 1989. He offers programs on humor and health to hospitals and other organizations. He also teaches parents and care providers about how a child's sense of humor changes from stage to stage.
Many teachers use humor in school. For example, teacher once used humor to calm down some rowdy students. First, he told them to knock if off. The biggest student of the group shot back, "Who's going to make us?" At that moment, you could feel the tension in the room. Then the teacher stepped up to the student, locked eyes with him, paused for effect, then said, " I think it's only fair to warn you that I have a black belt in origami!" Now, that's funny.