The Scenario – You know exactly what stress feels like and where it comes from. But do you know how to get rid of it?
Can laughter decrease stress in our lives?
Children laugh about 300 times a day. As we grow older, we are conditioned and socialized to prioritize other things, and we laugh only 5 to 15 times a day. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter is an effective strategy for both long- and short-term stress relief:
1. Immediate Effects
- Short fits of laughter engage your internal organs while pumping oxygen through your system and releasing endorphins.
- The spurt of mental and physical activity laughter requires excites the body, enacting your body’s natural stress response, which then stimulates your body’s recovery response to stressful situations, leaving you feeling relaxed.
2. Extended Effects
- Negative thoughts and emotions cause your brain to carry out its usual chemical response to negative thoughts and emotions, resulting in unnecessary stress on the body. The more you laugh, the less you have time to dwell on negative thoughts and emotions.
- Laughter causes your body to release endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers. The more often you laugh, the less pain you feel. Laughter may even break cycles of pain.
- A good sense of humor enables you to apply a more positive perspective to almost any situation.
The Insight – Look for opportunities to laugh and have fun no matter how silly you may feel or look. Take full advantage of each hilarious moment that presents itself and make time to enjoy it. Watch comedy shows or surround yourself with people you find funny. You’ll reduce current stress and better prepare yourself for any stress looming in the future. Your body will thank you for it.
How many times have you laughed today?
Creating Positive Perspectives for Life