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International Mirth Month – March 2023

International Mirth Month is celebrated in March of every year. Created by Allen Klein, affectionately named Mr. Jollytologist, the month is set aside to help us find humor in stressful situations. While there are enough of those, there are also plenty of ways to laugh and release the stress that comes with daily existence. Laughter makes us feel better and is even used to treat illnesses. So, this month, get together with friends and family for some laughs by watching humorous movies or TV series, or simply doing something enjoyable!

History of International Mirth Month

Mirth is defined as ‘gladness or gaiety as shown by or accompanied by laughter.’ In other words, it is the expression of joy, pleasure, and happiness through laughter and amusement. Originally an old English word, ‘Mirth’ remains applicable to our daily lives even today. It is closely related to laughter, a pleasant physical reaction consisting usually of rhythmical, often audible contractions of the diaphragm and other parts of the respiratory system. Laughter is a feature of human behavior that is controlled by the brain. It helps people explain their thoughts in social interactions and gives conversations an emotional context. Laughter is a symbol of belonging to a group, as it indicates acceptance and positive relationships with others. Laughter is sometimes seen to be contagious, and one person’s laughter might cause others to laugh as positive feedback.

Life tends to get serious and challenging, and it can often be difficult to pull through the difficult times. This is where Allen Klein steps into the picture. Allen Klein is a pioneer in the fields of gelotology and therapeutic humor. Klein’s wife died of liver illness when she was just 34 years old, and the fact that she maintained her sense of humor to the end encouraged Klein to leave his prior work as a theater and television scene designer and pursue a degree in human development. Klein is an author and lecturer who specializes in the stress-relieving effects of humor and lightheartedness. Klein served as president of The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor from 2005 to 2006 and is the author of eight books about the therapeutic use of comedy, happiness, and positivity.

Klein emphasizes the importance of mirth and happiness even during bad days or in the most mundane life. He declared March to be International Mirth Month to encourage everyone to set aside time to do something fun and joyous and find the silver lining in life. Most importantly, to have fun!

International Mirth Month timeline

1938
Mr. Jollytologist is Born

Allen Klein, also known as Mr. Jollytologist, is born.

1964
A Dose of Laughter

Norman Cousins develops a treatment for his collagen disease consisting of Vitamin C and doses of laughter.

2005
The Happiness Research

A study discovers links between laughter and healthy blood vessels in humans.

21st Century
The International Mirth Month

Allen Klein declares the celebration of International Mirth Month every March.

International Mirth Month FAQs

What is mirth?

It is an emotion associated with joy, happiness, and laughter.

Can you learn to laugh?

Humans are born with the capacity to laugh. The syllables ‘ha-ha,’ ‘ho-ho,’ or ‘he-he’ are part of the universal human vocabulary, and all cultures recognize them.

What is a synonym for mirth?

The word ‘mirth’ is synonymous with words such as laughter, rejoicing, amusement, fun, etc.

International Mirth Month Activities

  1. Watch something funny

    What better way to get some laughs than to watch your favorite comedy movie or TV show? Put away everything else, find the show or movie that cracks you up like no other, and have yourself a mirthful night!

  2. Go to a comedy club

    International Mirth Month is your chance to finally go to the local comedy club that you’ve been planning to go to for ages. March is the time to go for it.

  3. Celebrate with friends

    Invite your friends and family for some shared bonding. Spend a fun day planning games, sharing funny stories and anecdotes, and just having a good time.

5 Facts About Laughter

  1. It needs company

    People are 30 times more likely to laugh in a group than alone.

  2. It can go on for hours

    The world’s longest comedy show was over 40 hours long.

  3. It comes first

    Humans learn to laugh before they learn to speak.

  4. It is not just for us

    Animals such as rats and monkeys laugh too.

  5. It starts young

    Humans laugh the most exuberantly between the ages of five and six.

Why We Love International Mirth Month

  1. There are health benefits to it

    Mirth and things associated with it can have health benefits. For instance, a burst of heavy laughter brings in much more oxygen to the lungs than normal breathing would do. Laughter reduces the risk of heart disease, and 15 minutes of laughing a day can make you lose weight.

  2. It can change the mindset

    When life gets tough and challenging, we can often get stuck in a downward spiral of negative thoughts and feelings. A month like this is a reminder that we control our minds and can rewire them to focus on the positive.

  3. It strengthens relationships

    Having fun together is proven to result in stronger bonds and relationships. This does not only apply to couples but parent-child relationships and friendships as well. Those who laugh together, stay together.

International Mirth Month dates

YearDateDay
2023March 1Wednesday
2024March 1Friday
2025March 1Saturday
2026March 1Sunday
2027March 1Monday
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