Laughter may be the best medicine to treat the anxiety and stress reported by 50% of the U.S. population. A sense of humor can make the darkest day brighter, say experts, and researchers have chronicled the health benefits of exercising your funny bone.
The Mayo Clinic reports that laughter activates and relieves your stress response, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and soothes tension. In the long term, laughter may also stimulate your immune system by quelling the negative thoughts that impair it.
According to Forbes, while the aspects of the current pandemic are nothing to laugh at, having a sense of humor makes these events less overwhelming. Even in trying times, it’s important to make note of some of the funnier—and sometimes downright ridiculous-circumstances we are facing today. Having virtual Sunday dinners with family, wearing masks just to go to the market, having your temperature checked to get your hair done are things we’d laugh about if they weren’t so real and in-your-face right now.
Forbes offers these tips to help cultivate a sense of humor and develop a more positive attitude during the crisis:
- Identify a few things each day that warrant a giggle or even a full-throated laugh.
- Turn everyday events into amusing short stories and share them with friends and family.
- Watch funny videos or TV shows.
Peggy Noonan, a former presidential speech writer and Wall Street Journal columnist once said:
“Humor is the shock absorber of life; it helps us take the blows.”
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