Humor or humour
is the tendency of particular cognitive experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement.
People of all ages and cultures respond to humor; the majority of people are able to be amused, to laugh or smile at something funny, and thus they are considered to have a "sense of humor."
Appropriate humor is a powerful intervention that offers as therapeutic means of coping with a loss.
Research suggest that, in most situations, physical reactions to humor are beneficial. Laughter reduces stress, aids ventilation, accelerates the exchange of residual air, exercises the myocardium, increases arterial and venous circulation, and reduces vascular stasis.
True humor has emotional significance because it:
- relieves tension, punctures pretense, and restores perspective;
- allows the mind to function more effectively and enables people to deal with difficulties more creatively; and
- enhances the sense of wholeness.
Storey P and Knight CF. Unipac five: communication and the physician's role in the interdisciplinary team. American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. 1998.