Research has shown that developing a
healthy sense of humor has a tremendous power to relieve stress. Stress
is the biggest cause of heart attacks, obesity, depression, and even
violence. We are all born with a sense of humor since babies are able
to laugh by the age of 4 months old. Children have a sense of humor
very early as they begin to understand the world.
In the film 7 Years in Tibet the main character played by
Brad Pitt takes a journey through Tibet. The reasons for the trip are
not as memorable as the line delivered by the Dali Lama. Pitt's
character was in mental turmoil over a decision he had to make. The
Dali Lama turns to him and asks "Is there anything you can do about the
problem right now?" Pitt "No" Dali Lama "Then stop worrying about
it". The moral of the story is that most of our stress is caused by
our doom and gloom riddled thinking about the future. The fact of the
matter is that if you can't fix it now, then stop worrying about it.
Humor allows you to look at the things that are causing you stress
and turn it on it's head in order to bring levity to an otherwise
difficult situation. When you share the humorous outlook about the
stressful situation with others the issue will begin to feel less
stressful. in fact, it may begin to loose it's hold on you. It does not
mean that is gone, but your approach will shift allowing you an
opportunity for creative thinking.
Creative thinking is needed in order to solve stressful situations.
Humor is the key that will unlock creative thinking. Something magical
happens in our brain when we laugh. Endorphins are released and we get a
sense of euphoria even if momentary. The shift in feeling changes your
thinking. When you change your thinking new ideas that were stuck
behind old ones are released. This phenomena happens in the brain as
many times as you want it to occur. You have full access to this
capability in you right now.
Here are five ways for you to instantly improve your sense of humor and reduce stress:
- Feed your funny. You were born with humor and now
it's time to notice it inside you. You need to trust your instincts.
Your point of view is unique and crafted over time by your life
experience. Find ways to indulge yourself in rich comedic chocolate and
oozing caramel morsels of sweet delight through books, comedy shows,
articles, whatever makes you laugh. At least 15-20 minutes a day spend
time smothering yourself with your own brand of funny things.
- Find the funny in life. Get out and do things that
you enjoy that make you laugh and bring you joy. Every thought about
going to an amusement park in the middle of the day? Ride a roller
coaster's front seat! The key is to get physical about funny. Find ways
to get all your senses involved like going to comedy shows more often.
- Study the funny. Watch comedians do their stand-up
routines. Notice what made you laugh and what didn't. This will begin
to give you insight to your brand of funny. Different comedians will
present on the same topic and some will resonate and some won't pay
attention to the subtle differences that appealed to you. This
information will inform you as to your sense of humor.
- Share the funny. There are tremendous benefits to
working on being a funnier person both to you and others around you.
Share what you are learning with other people who are equally funny
seekers or are always laughing. The bond that is created by sharing the
funny with others will create instant memories and moments of joy that
are relived every time you think about it.
- Work with the funny. Use humor at work. You spend
more hours at work and perhaps one of your greatest sources of stress.
Put up funny commentary at your desk, have a joke of the day at a staff
meeting, have lunch with funny work mates. Funny at work may even lead
to a raise! People like and want to be around funny people.
You probably don't even need steps to be funny. Just reading this
article you got ideas of your own. Use them to your advantage. Help
heal the world with humor one joke at time. Go make strangers laugh!