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Welcome to Love Mondays, a weekly newsletter designed as a 3-minute hit to fire up the other 10,077 minutes of your week.

Hi Love Monday readers!

I hope you’re loving Monday this week and maybe even spending a little extra time with loved ones. What a great opportunity to consider humans’ need for humour.

How many times have you really laughed over the weekend?

Write the moments down.

Consider: how often do you use humour when communicating with your team?

Practice: paying attention to your own, and others’ sense of humour

Decide to: bring humour into your communications this week, either through story, by using jokes, or by deploying your natural quick wit!

The evolutionary purpose of laughter.

Psychologists, neuroscientists and philosophers have been trying to understand humour for eons. The oldest known theory for humour dates back to Plato, asserting that people find humour in, and laugh at, earlier versions of themselves and the misfortunes of others to feel superior. The 18th century gave rise to the theory of release. The best-known version, formulated later by Sigmund Freud, held that laughter allows people to let off steam or release pent-up “nervous energy.”  In 2010 in the journal Psychological Science, A. Peter McGraw and Caleb Warren proposed a theory they call “benign violation” whereby humour arises when a person simultaneously recognises that an ethical, social or physical norm has been violated and that this violation is not very offensive.

Levity can also partly be a product of the distance from a situation—for example, it has been said that humour is tragedy plus time. Gil Greengross, an anthropologist from the University of New Mexico, noted that humour and laughter occur in every society, as well as in apes and even rats. This universality suggests an evolutionary role, although humour and laughter could conceivably be a byproduct of some other process important to survival.

We laugh or we cry. And sometimes we laugh until we cry. There is no doubt that humour helps us all feel more human.

Let’s pay attention to how, and how much we laugh this week.

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