Laughter the Stress Reliever
Work site wellness is the latest trend in increasing productivity, decreasing absenteeism and helping reduce health care costs. Every HMO, Life Insurance Company and even the Duck from Aflac are reminding us to eat healthier and exercise daily. This is all fine and dandy. But the idea of wellness must include laughter as part of our daily routine.
Researchers have discovered that the average child laughs about 400 times a day and the average adult laughs 15 times a day. PEOPLE WE NEED TO DO WHAT STEVE MARTIN DID AND PUT LUNCH MEAT IN OUR SHOES SO WE CAN FEEL FUNNY. Now of course this is an over statement but I hope you understand my point.
My older brother is 56 years old. He workouts every morning and watches what he eats. I on the other hand will walk almost every other day and watch what I eat sometimes. We both recently had our blood pressure taken. His was in the danger zone and mine was excellent. He was so upset complaining, “This isn’t fair, you eat all that fast food you should be the one with the high blood pressure! How is yours is lower than mine?”
“I laugh more than you,” I replied.
The point is we can eat healthy and exercise daily but if we take along our worries and fears we are doing nothing to counteract our stress. I remember a time when I was so stressed out about a business dealing, that I tried everything from walking to running, jumping and meditating. Because I was so worked up my breathing was off, my chest hurt and I just didn’t feel good. It wasn’t till I made a choice to laugh about the situation could I feel less stressed and open to new ideas.
Studies have proven that humor is a great stress-reducer and it is one of the best natural ways to calm yourself down. Laughter not only reduces the higher cortisol levels caused from stress but it also gives us a different perspective on the situation.
NBC News just did a report about happy people. They found that happy people in most cases live seven years longer than unhappy people. If you would like to live longer start implementing some humor therapy today.
Here are some great ways to begin your humor therapy: Watch funny TV Shows, go to funny movies and funny plays. Make it a point to be with funny people, read and tell jokes. If the situation you’re in is so bad that you can’t seem to laugh, try making it larger than life. Example: “HEY EVERYBODY I ‘M LOST! MAYBE I AM GOING THE RIGHT WAY AND EVERYONE ELSE IS LOST? THAT’S IT! THE WHOLE DARN WORLD IS LOST!”
If you want to reduce your stress, be healthier, more productive and become a valued workplace team member? I suggest you start laughing now!
Sources: NBC News
Laughter for Stress Relief, Susan Stewart
How can you laugh at a time like this, Sandy Dorrian
Stress Vs. Health Article, Dr. Christos Ballas MD, Healthline Networks
How Does Stress Affect Health, John Michallidis
Copyright Richard Paul 2009