Stress Awareness Tip #3

Girl With Hands And Hair In The Air

As strange as it sounds, laughter is a fantastic way to relieve stress. I don’t know about you all, but I love to laugh. Laughter is something we are naturally able to do and can access anywhere at no cost. Not only does laughter have short term benefits but long term benefits as well.

Here are just a few short term benefits:

  • Lightens your mental load
  • Brings oxygen-rich air
  • Stimulates heart, lungs, and other muscles
  • Increases endorphins
  • Wakes up and then cools down the stress response leading to a good, relaxed feeling
  • Stimulates circulation which aids in muscle relaxation. Both help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

Here are just a few long term benefits:

  • Improves immune system
  • Helps relieve pain symptoms by encouraging the body to produce its own painkillers
  • Helps with connection between people
  • May help with coping during difficult situations
  • Can help lessen depression and anxiety

One does not need to have a fully developed funny bone in order to use humor. Humor can be learned. Give laughter a try with these simple ideas. Create an environment that promotes humor by hanging funny pictures or comic strips up at home or in the office. If you are so inclined: draw your own images, ask friends or family members to draw something for you, or for those of you that are Pinterest inclined start pinning funny images. Practice laughing about your own life situations. Even if it feels weird at first, keep practicing. Find others who like to laugh and take turns making each other laugh. One caution when using laughter is to not laugh at the expense of others.

References and Further Reading:

Mayo Clinic – Stress relief from laughter? It’s no joke
About Health – The Stress Management and Health Benefits of Laughter
American Heart Association – What is Stress Management?
Laughter Yoga – Laughter Yoga
WebMD – Give Your Body a Boost — With Laughter

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