Laughter Is The Best Medicine
In the article “The Healing Power of Humor”, Maud Purcell, LCSW, CEAP confirms that today, we have a better understanding of how laughter affects human physiology.
Laughter has been proven to:
- Reduce pain. Our bodies produce pain-killing hormones called endorphins in response to laughter.
- Strengthens immune function. A good belly laugh increases production of T-cells, interferon and immune proteins called globulins.
- Decreases stress. When under stress, we produce a hormone called cortisol. Laughter significantly lowers cortisol levels and returns the body to a more relaxed state.
The following ways will help bring the healing power of humor into your life without adding extra pressure:
- “Humor Up” your work environment. Bring kids’ toys to work and keep them within reach. When you are stressed, take out a toy and play. That irate customer on the phone will have no idea that you are keeping your cool by playing with a Slinky. Place funny pictures of friends and loved ones around your office, including ones of you when you were a ridiculous-looking kid.
- Create a humor file. Fill it with funny cartoons, sayings and jokes, as you run across them. When things are looking particularly grim, refer to your file. You’ll get a good laugh and be able to put things back in perspective in no time.
- Create sitcom situations. When you find yourself in a nerve-wracking situation (such as locking your keys in the car), think of how Groucho or Lucy would handle it.
- For recreation, act like a kid. Go to the zoo, an amusement park, bowling or swinging — the sky’s the limit! You’ll find that these activities completely take you away from all of that “heavy” stuff. And the escape will do wonders for your attitude.
- Exaggerate a stressful situation. Take your situation and make it even bigger than it is. You might think this will cause more stress; however, blowing the problem up will allow you to see the absurdity of it, and afford you a great belly laugh.
- Invite friends over for a “come as you are” party — and insist that they come as they are!
- Host a slumber party. You’re never too old! Have friends bring pillows and blankets, eat junk food, and stay up all night telling scary stories. Trust me, this will provide you with a new perspective — a hysterically funny one.
You have a choice: You can be weighed down by your frustrations or laugh them out and feel better!