Stressed? Use laughter to lower stress hormones, boost immunity, and relax your muscles. Laughter reduces fear and anxiety while enhancing resilience. The bonus you receive from laughter is the bond you establish when you laugh with someone. Laughter is the free anti-aging prescription.
Stress is a normal part of life but sometimes we have too much, requiring us to call on our resilience to deal with it. Our response to stress is a complex series of hormones surging through our bodies, our sympathetic nervous system amps up, and the limbic brain goes into overdrive.
Stress causes heart attacks in men and reproductive problems in women. We narrow our focus and respond less to new ideas. We sleep less and argue more. Irritation and frustration are heightened while romance and sexual interest are lessened. So what are we to do?
Our resources and resilience are called out to the forefront. This is the time to use your resources to create positive emotions. We know from Barbara Fredrickson’s theory of “broaden and build” that positive emotions like joy, delight, lightness and amusement allow us to expand our thinking.
We know from many researchers in medicine and positive psychology that humor is a strength that diffuses the stress and allows us to manage it with easy success, returning us to a healthier state physically and psychologically.
The things you might do to reduce your stress include reading the comics, look up some of those silly emails we all receive, call a friend and ask them to help you laugh, watch a funny movie or listen to a comedy show. One of the easiest and most rewarding things to do is watch a baby and enjoy their amusement with life. Go to “You Tube” and watch funny videos to change your outlook and your chemistry in just a few minutes.
One of the main things to do to reduce your stress is to start laughing. Join a laughing yoga group or a laughing club. Without anyone else to depend on, just start laughing. Fake it until you make it and you will reduce your stress.
Try it in the morning – just laugh, even if you don’t feel it. Keep laughing; try it for 5 minutes or 20. Even 1 minute is a stretch! If you have to prime your pump, think about Lucille Ball, a master of creating laughter. Try it now.
Laugh away your stress.