It’s tough to maintain your sense of humor when you’re in pain, recovering, cooped up — or giving care to someone who’s dealing with these challenges. But using humor as a coping technique can defuse stress, brighten your general outlook and enhance your overall health.
Laughing at life’s difficulties (or at least smiling at them) can help you see situations from a different perspective and keep things from overwhelming you. An article from one stress-reduction website has some great suggestions. Here they are in a nutshell:
- Smile. Smiles are contagious – in a good way. Smiling, even faking it, actually releases stress-reducing endorphins in your brain, and has the same effect on everyone in the room.
- Try a different point of view. When you look at your situation from an observer’s perspective, it’s easier to recognize what’s funny. You can almost see yourself in a sitcom, and the scenarios can become hilarious. This is called “re-framing,” and it works.
- Hang with funny friends. You know who they are – you just see each other and start giggling, even when you’re sharing your frustrations.
- Make it a game. Keep score. Count up the same potentially frustrating event every day or week. You can begin to value repetitive situations you can’t control instead of letting them upset you.
- Watch funny shows and movies. Many popular comedies take irritating situations that everyone recognizes and amplify the silliness.
- Read witty books. Comics who write, authors who capture the absurdities of life and casts of silly or self-absorbed characters all inspire laughter. Make a reading list, get ideas from friends or online.
- Stretch with Laughter Yoga. Laughter Yoga International describes laughter exercises that are the basis for this form of yoga. Practitioners say that it lowers stress and promotes emotional balance.
You Think That’s Funny?
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