Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sad Spouses use Humor, Laughter, & Happiness

Humor, laughter, and happiness in the daily lives of recently bereaved spouses.
Lund DA, Utz R, Caserta MS, De Vries B.
University of Utah, Salt Lake City

The positive psychology movement has created more interest in examining the potential value of experiencing positive emotions (e.g., humor, laughter, and happiness) during the course of bereavement. This study of 292 recently widowed (5-24 weeks) men (39%) and women (61%) age 50 and over examined both the perceived importance of and actual experience of having positive emotions in their daily lives and how they might impact bereavement adjustments. We found that most of the bereaved spouses rated
humor and happiness as being very important in their daily lives and that they were also experiencing these emotions at higher levels than expected. Experiencing humor, laughter, and happiness was strongly associated with favorable bereavement adjustments (lower grief and depression) regardless of the extent to which the bereaved person valued having these positive emotions.

Once again, laughter proves to be the best medicine.

Yours in giggles and laughter,


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