If you could have one of the best antidotes for stress, would you take it? If I told you it is something that you can easily access and is free, would you want it? If I raved about how this one thing does everything, from decreasing the risk of heart attack, to stimulating the immune system, would you order it? Well, get ready, because it’s something you already have (At least I hope you have it.).
It’s humor! Now if you don’t have a sense of humor, get one. Read joke books, listen to comedy and learn to laugh at funny things. You are probably taking life too seriously and need to laugh at yourself and others at least once in awhile. Humor is a great stress reducer. It is also a self-care tool that fosters a positive and hopeful attitude. Humor releases emotions and stimulates the immune system.
Humor takes a stressful condition and turns it into a challenge. Studies at Cornell University found that people exposed to humor in the workplace were not only more creative problem-solvers, but they also could better see the consequences of their individual decisions. Humor defuses stress and makes it easier to look at a situation and do something about it. Humor is fun. It feels good to laugh and laughter does wonders for the physical body.
Now, I’m not suggesting you laugh off serious matters in your life. I don’t want you denying or avoiding problems. I’m simply saying that maintaining a sense of humor helps during serious times.
For example, my mother called one night. She was lamenting the number of family and friends ill with serious conditions. Then she injected a humorous thought: “You know why we have so many volunteers at the hospital (she used to volunteer)? It is because we never know who will be able to help and who will be in the beds.” We both started laughing. Humor is a release from the tension of the stress.
So, next time you feel stressed
- Try to laugh (Even forcing a laugh reduces stress!).
- Take a different perspective and try humor.
- Rent a silly movie.
- Tell a joke.
- Tickle someone.
- Play a crazy game.
You get the idea. Laughter may just might make you a healthier you!