Managing Stress the Fun Way
We’ve all heard friends and loved ones advising each other about “laughing the problems away.” We also have that one friend in the group who often jokes about using humor as a defense mechanism. This begs the question—is laughter really the best way to deal with stress?
Studies show that a sense of humor is a great way to distract yourself from problems. It triggers healthy physical and emotional changes in our body that can help us alleviate stress.
Let’s take a look at why laughter is the best medicine.
Why use humor to manage stress?
For most people, striving to achieve a sense of comfort through familiar elements is one of the best ways to deal with any hurdles life throws at them. These familiar elements may include talking to a loved or indulging in a therapeutic activity such as painting or writing. For some, humor and laughter play that role.
One reason why your funny friend seems to have their life together is that humor can be used as a distraction to keep stress-induced feelings at bay. As such, humor is frequently used as a coping mechanism.
A study published in the Personality and Social Psychology bulletin detailed an experiment that displayed how self-enhancing humor in individuals with stress disorders reduced distress significantly. These findings have even prompted doctors to prescribe laughter as a medicine, allowing individuals to find a healthy channel to release their feelings of anger, guilt and sadness.
In addition to that, studies also show that humor is used as a way to gain a fresh perspective, which can further help an individual overcome stressful situations.
Let’s delve into how laughter can help you manage stress.
What are the benefits of laughter?
Laughter has several long-term and short-term effects that can help an individual alleviate stress.
Laughter stimulates our lungs, heart and other muscles to regulate blood supply. It improves the intake of oxygen to improve the circulation of blood in the body that can help an individual calm down during stressful situations.
Laughter can fire up your stress response to stabilize your heartbeat as well as your blood pressure. This is done by allowing the muscles to contract and relax so that physical symptoms of stress caused by uneasy and contracted muscles can be reduced.
Other than that, laughter also reduces the level of stress hormones such as cortisol in the body by signaling the brain to release feel-good hormones like endorphins. Studies have also shown that managing stress through laughter can reduce the risk of developing depression and anxiety.
Make the best of any bad situation by taking control and overcome feelings of stress through laughter—especially in the workplace.
If you’re looking for a way to help your employees manage stress at the workplace in a fun way, book one of the leading motivational corporate speakers today!
Steve Rizzo is a keynote Hall of Fame motivational speaker who has helped countless employees deal with stress in the workplace. So, get in touch with us and book Steve for your next corporate event today!