One of the ways that you can strengthen your marriage is to evaluate how often you laugh together.

Laughter is good medicine and it is contagious. It is a healing agent that helps both physically, spiritually, and emotionally. King Solomon gives wisdom in Proverbs 17:22, “A cheerful heart is good medicine.”

Humor brings a benefit to a husband and wife to help them cope with life. There are times when things seem to be overwhelming such as the checkbook being short, kids not behaving, over planned your day, can’t remember the last time you spent time together with your spouse. Times like this it may seem that humor is not important, but finding the humor in these times takes off the edge.

Bill Cosby says, “If you can find humor in anything, you can survive it.” Researchers agree with him and have stated that studies reveal that individuals who have a strong sense of humor are less likely to experience burnout and depression and they are more likely to enjoy life in general — including their marriage.

Laughter is not the cure to all the problems in life or in your relationship but when you are making conscious choices to incorporate laughter and humor in your relationship it has its benefits.

When you laugh and bring it into the atmosphere, your children will be more playful and laugh more often. Bringing back this laughter helps you to recapture the meaning of life and bring that life into your home. It’s used to bond the family closer together. Even in the bible it says that the joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)

Laughter relieves the tension that can build up between people. Laughter will bond you with those you laugh with. Researchers have found that laughter produces Oxytocin, a chemical in the brain also referred to as the bonding chemical.

This bond brings a more positive lifestyle and will buffer life’s struggles. It is like the antidote to unnecessary stress and can keep the fire between you and your spouse lit. Think back to when you were first dating and it seemed to be the highlight of your day to spend that time with your spouse. Laughter helps rekindle this flame.

Laughter breaks up the heaviness and the gloom that comes if you are only focused on the negative things. With a lighter atmosphere it is easier to think and look beyond the problem that may be staring you in the face. An uplifted atmosphere makes it very hard to argue. When you have a good attitude it makes life’s daily stresses more tolerable when laughter becomes part of your routine.

Don’t get me wrong seriousness has an important place in life and love, but so does laughter.

When you embrace laughter you will find that you will not be so defensive against your spouse and more open to new experiences and to listen to what they have to say. Laughter deepens emotional intimacy and allows greater trust to take hold.

We all in ways protect ourselves emotionally. They are like the seatbelt and airbags in your car–your defenses are designed to prevent injury and cushion the blow when faced with something that is potentially painful. Even though these are good to have in moderation you should keep it in healthy areas and not allowing it to prevent you from making genuine contact with someone who has your best interests in mind, like your spouse.

Laughter reduces stress and temporarily will release you from the pressures of life as well as recharge you emotionally as well as recharge your relationship. It is a safe and effective way to release pent-up physical and emotional tension. Laughter reduces stress hormones while increasing the feel-good endorphins in your brain.

Laughter acts as a protective buffer to the inevitable stresses that couples face. But it also has its health benefits to you physically. Some Healthy Benefits of Laughter:

Reduction of stress and tension
Stimulation of the immune system
An increase of natural painkillers in the blood
A decrease in systemic inflammation
Reduction of blood pressure

Our individual cardiovascular and respiratory systems benefit more from twenty seconds of robust laughter than from three minutes of exercise on a rowing machine. Through laughter, muscles release tension and neurochemicals are released into the bloodstream, creating the same feelings the long-distance joggers experience as “runner’s high.”

It has also been discovered that for some hospital patients, ten minutes of genuine belly laughter would have an anesthetic effect that could give a couple hours of pain-free sleep.

So how do you incorporate laughter into your marriage or relationship?

Now that you see laughter has numerous benefits for your relationship, the next step is the most important: begin creating moments of mutual enjoyment and pleasure. And while you’re at it, make each other laugh.

Here are just a few suggestions to get you started:

Rent a funny movie or television series; read the Bible and see that there are humorous things in there and how God has a sense of humor; go to a Christian comedy show; play fun/silly board games with each other and invite friends into the laughter; share a humorous story from your childhood; look for the humor in life; and other ways that will bring laughter in your lives together and in your home.