Hello SOTGC community,
Stress seems to be one of those inevitable facts of life. There are many great stress-management strategies out there, but one that gets very little attention is laughter.
Can you remember the last time you had a great belly laugh, the kind that almost leaves you breathless? If the answer is no, you might just need a little laughter therapy!
When you laugh, stress hormones like cortisol are reduced, and feel-good endorphins are released. Not only will this help boost your mood, it can also help you take the edge off in a tense situation.
And speaking of tense situations … I can remember the first time I drove a car. I was with my mother, and, as we were coming back home, I was getting ready to turn back into our lane (we lived on a private road that had a grassy ditch on either side). I didn’t turn the wheel enough, and I was headed straight for the mailbox, so I did what any novice driver would do to avoid a crash – I put my foot on the gas and turned the steering wheel all the way in the other direction. This of course caused me to drive us right into the ditch, at which point, seamlessly I might add, I chose the same strategy … I rammed the gas again and turned the steering all the way in the opposite direction. When it was over (and it all happened in one very quick and foul swoop), we ended up completely perpendicular on the road. Needless to say, my mother saw her life flash before her eyes, and was likely minutes from a stroke. And you want to know what I did once the car came to stop? … I started to laugh hysterically. It’s not that I thought it was funny per se, but clearly my mind and body needed to release the stress, and that is what happened. My mother was flabbergasted at my reaction; she did not find it the least bit humorous.
Whether your stress is from real events, or from everyday worry, finding a way to laugh will shift your mood and will change your physiology for the better. Choose to watch a funny sitcom, comedy, or YouTube video; leave the intense dramas for another day. Or reminisce about something funny that happened to you in the past.
Or, even better, find a way to share a laugh with someone else. Laughing together with loved ones can help you feel connected. Since laughter is associated with happiness, you will be building positive memories in your relationship, not to mention have fun.
Not only does laughter help connect you to friends and family, it will also work with strangers. Have you ever noticed how often a good speaker will start off with something funny? An appropriate joke or shared humor can be a great icebreaker. It also works wonders in board meetings!
I encourage you all to make time in your life for laughter … it is a great stress-buster, and it really is good medicine!
If you know of anyone that needs to release some stress, please share this article on Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Facebook!! With your help, we just might bring some more laughter into the world!