You’ve heard the saying that laughter is the best medicine, right? As it turns out, it’s also a quick and efficient way to reduce stress. I’m sure this doesn’t come as a big surprise to you. Think back on the last time you laughed with a good friend, your partner, or your child. I bet you felt great after, particularly if the laugh was so hearty that it also counted as a stomach workout.
The idea is to laugh out loud more often, and to do so intentionally whenever youíre feeling under a lot of pressure and stress. There are a couple of different ways to make that happen.
Small kids are hilarious and when you give them free reign with the conversation they’ll come up with something funny. Or ask them to tell you a joke. Their giggles while they try to get it out (usually by blurting out the punch line first) will make you laugh. Laugh with them and use your stress buster as an opportunity to bond and spend quality time together.
After a long and stressful day at work, thereís nothing better than a movie or book that makes you laugh out loud. While it’s harder with books, it’s fairly easy to find movies that make you laugh. They get even better when you watch them with family and/or friends. Laughing with someone is even better than laughing alone.
Make a list of books and movies that make you laugh and keep it on hand for stress emergencies. Of course they are also funny, entertaining, and a great way to relax at other times.
If you have a long commute home, or a lot of chores to do around the house, try listening to Pandora® or one of the other music streaming services and choose a stand-up comedy channel. You’ll be laughing in no time. Of course you could also create a personalized playlist with sets from your favorite comedians.
Personally, I love listening to old-timey radio shows — you can download them for free on iTunes — and I’ll to Jack Benny, Red Skelton and some of the old comedy radio shows that are not only clean, but they are actually hysterically funny!
Yes, I know this sounds ridiculous, but it actually works. Go find a mirror and give it a try. Just start laughing. Itís going to sound fake at first but within a few seconds it usually turns into a genuine laugh. This is the quickest and easiest way to use laughing as a stress buster. Go find a private bathroom, look yourself in your office and grab your makeup mirror, or use the reflection of your monitor and give it a try.
Oh, just do it. It’ll work. Laugh it up!