Laughter is more than just a pleasurable activity. It can boost immunity and lower blood pressure and cortisol levels. It’s a source of social bonding and helps to reduce conflict and cushion social stress. When people laugh together, they tend to talk and touch more. So go ahead — indulge in those silly YouTube videos, repeat dumb jokes, tune in to your favorite comedians, and generally relish any chance for laughter.
Research suggests that spending money on an experience brings more happiness than buying a possession, so instead of buying that new shirt or piece of jewelry, use money to plan a party, go to a concert, or visit a new neighborhood or a new city.
Novelty and challenge serve as important engines of happiness; we’re happiest when we have new experiences. Even small steps, such as going to new restaurants or seeing different sets of friends, can give us a boost. In fact, positive events make us happier when they’re not predictable, because the surprise makes the experience more intense.
“When one loves, one does not calculate.”
— St. Thérèse of Lisieux