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How to Fight Stress with Humor

How to Fight Stress with Humor

Did you know that April is both National Humor and National Stress Awareness month? I find this very interesting because there are lots of articles about how humor can help relieve stress. I wonder if highlighting humor and stress in a single month was pre-planned or just a funny conscience.

Regardless if it was premeditated or not humor has shown to be effective for stress relief. I should know, since I’m always stressed out, but find my sense of humor keeps me for going completely insane. (Currently I’m only partially insane.)

And They're coming to take me away Ha Ha They're coming to take me away ho ho he he ha ha
And They’re coming to take me away Ha Ha They’re coming to take me away ho ho he he ha ha

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Research has shown that laughter actually impact us on a physical and mental level. According to an article written the Mayo Clinic, laughter can have a significant effect on stress.

Studies have shown that in the short-term a good dose of laughter can help activate and relieve your stress response. Laughter will cool down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure, as a result you start to feel relaxed.

Long term effects of laughter shows that it can improve your overall mood lessening stress and depression. Laughter has also been shown to improve your immune system because positive thoughts release neuropeptides which help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.

Harness the Power of Humor

Everyone’s sense of humor is different, which means if you really want to beat stress with humor you need to find something that works for you. While there are different strategies here a few ways to help fight stress with humor.

Watch a Comedy

A quick solution is to watch a comedy. The film or TV show depends on your own personal tastes but you’re bound to find something funny.

Classics comedies include the Three Stooges or the Marx Brothers. I love all the word play that Groucho Marx always uses in his films.

There’s also lots of television shows that available. Currently I’m really fond of the Big Bang Theory, science + humor make for a good mix. If you’re feeling nostalgic Netflix offers several old sitcoms, for example I have Friends on my watch list whenever I need a good laugh.

I also find cartoons a great source of humor. While they might  be consider just for kids many cartoons actually have jokes or comments that only an adult would get. I remember an episode of Fairy Odd Parents where one of the fairies asks the main character if he’s ever heard of Hootie and the Blowfish, which the characters responses with no, and the fairy replies by saying  “neither has anyone else”.  Certainly a joke only a someone who grew up in the 90’s would get.

Another cartoon I’m quite fond of is Phineas and Ferb, I totally relate to Dr. Ddoofenshmirtz! Let’s not forget some 3d animated feature films, so many of those work as just a standard clean family fun comedy, even if the actors are all animated.

Laugh at yourself

In stressful situations I tend to find myself laughing. Sometimes it is not always the most appropriate of times, but I find it helps me deal with the situation.

I’m a relatively clumsy person and find I run into things often, while I might trip and fall I could cry from the sheer embarrassment of the incident or just laugh at the fact that only something as ridiculous as that could only happen to me.

For example most recently at the Go Blog Social event, while walking back to lunch my shoe came flying off in the middle of the street. Ironically it was a shoe with a buckle and the buckle was still strapped to my ankle, how does this even happen? I couldn’t help but laugh at the circumstances.

In the past I’ve been complimented by others on how I seem to be able to take an embarrassing situation and simply laugh about it.

When laughing at yourself you should really be laughing at the series of events and not you personally. After all it’s one thing to laugh at one’s self it’s another thing to put yourself down by making fun of yourself.

Have a Humor Chest

The Conscious Life website has an article about 6 ways to reduce stress with humor and one of the ways includes building a Humor Chest.

Basically the idea is to have a place for things which you can go back to whenever you need a good dose of laughter. This humor chest can be filled with anything, from comic books to funny drawings whatever. It doesn’t even need be a chest at all, for example you could create a Pinterest board of funny sayings, that you can go back to when you need a good laugh.

For me I have my vast collection of toys. Looking at my toys always cheers me up. Sometimes I even take time to play with them a bit, move them around on the shelves and create different scenarios.

Sampling of my Happy Face collection
Sampling of my Happy Face collection

Like the cartoons, some people might consider having toys a childish. I beg to differ, I mean after all isn’t being an adult hard enough, why not have a childish side, something that you get enjoyment out of.

Consider the Sheryl Crow song “If it makes you happy”

If it makes you happy

It can’t be that bad

If it makes you happy

Then why the hell are you so sad

In key is that your humor chest be filled with things that make you happy, doesn’t matter what others may think. After all being stressed out by what others think, is exactly the kind of thing you are trying to prevent.

Life’s Short Be Happy

In the end you have to really consider the reasons you are feeling stressed out, are they really worth being stressed out about.

My wise husband is always telling me

Life is what you make it.

You can be stressed out or you can be Happy!

You know he’s 100% right. Most of the things I stress out about are really minor. There’s no use crying over spilled milk for example, after all you can always get more milk. Instead you might as well laugh about it and just be happy.

I end now with one of my favorite saying

This is the day the lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it!  --Psalm 118:24
This is the day the lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it! –Psalm 118:24

Everyday is a gift from God and we shouldn’t worry about the little things but laugh and rejoice in all the happiness life has to offer.

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How to Fight Stress with Humor

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Akram Taghavi-Burris

designer, writer, educator, tech nerd, crafter, baker, sewer and vintage collector, who Brings Creative & Crazy Ides to Life.

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