Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.
Bill Cosby

Whatever the cause of your individual daily stress, too much stress on a routine basis will lead to and/or add to health problems. Human beings were not intended to handle stress hormones that are released when we are under tension and stress over long periods of time. Prolonged stress can cause:

  • Increased fatigue, chronic headaches and back pain
  • Digestive upset, possible ulcer, IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Increased irritability or anger
  • Increases your blood pressure increasing your risk for stroke
  • Stress can make an asthma attack worse

People deal with their stress in differently and not always in the healthiest of ways. It’s often easy to grab a cigarette, or alcohol. I know personally that food is always an easy mark for stress relief that is difficult to learn to not use for this purpose. Worse people sometimes turn to drugs when stress is too much. This just makes the body weaker, which makes the stress run the body down more which makes you grab whatever you are using to deal with the stress and you are in a vicious circle.

Laughter is a natural (and free!) way to relieve stress. When you laugh, your brain releases endorphins, and neurotransmitters and lowers the levels of stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine. We all know that feeling after we have either watched something like a movie or a video clip or heard a joke that just absolutely made you laugh so hard you thought you were going to “bust a gut” or the “belly laugh.” That is one of the most cleansing feelings isn’t it? You physically feel better even if your stomach does hurt and you have laughed so hard that you may have cried.

Humor is good for us. We need to learn to laugh more and to laugh at ourselves as well and not take ourselves too seriously all the time. Real life situations are difficult and stressful, there is no doubt about that, but sometimes you have to step back and look at it with different eyes. See the humor in the situation if you can and then it will help to de-stress the situation, at least to a degree. Think about your favorite T.V. sitcom. Isn’t it based on day-to-day situations? Isn’t that why we laugh? We see something of ourselves in these and we need to try and do this more in our own real life sitcoms. That’s how we get those great “you aren’t going to believe what happened to me” stories we love to tell.

So go ahead, read a funny book, watch your favorite sitcom or really funny movie. I dare you, have a good laugh. You’ll feel better.