What Are You Laughing At?

August 20, 2017

When times get tough it can be difficult to keep your perspective. Things that used to make you smile can seem uninteresting, irritating or even exhausting .  It's easy to start coming down on yourself, your situation and your loved ones. Discontent can begin to follow you like a tagged photo on facebook.

 

One thing individuals and couples can do to relieve stress and lighten their emotional load is remember to have a sense of humor. Whether that's laughing at yourself or poking fun at the universe, keeping perspective can help reduce the amount of time it takes you to go from hot headed to calm and collected. Once you cut yourself some slack and let go of those nagging, negative voices you will feel lighter, breath deeper and find a way to move past whatever it was that was weighing you down.

 

The stories we tell can sometimes be tragic. And some stories will never have a silver lining or a way of being funny. But just as often, some stories we tell have a kernel of absurdity, surprise, universal truth, or even a heroic attempt at recovering from something embarrassing, predictable or antagonistic. We've all been there at some point. Our ability to laugh at life reminds us that we're not alone.

 

According to the Mayo Clinic, humor is a big health boon as well. It can:

  • Stimulate your organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain, fending off the blues.

  • Activate and relieve your stress response. A good belly laugh revs up and then cools down your stress response, and it can temporarily affect your heart rate and blood pressure leaving you feeling relaxed and renewed.

  • Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

 

As relationship expert, John Gottman says, "A couple that laughs together, lasts together." So tap into your sense of humor, be it dry, witty, slap stick or stand up. While the goal is to not take yourself, or life for that matter, so seriously, always remember to be kind.

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