Humor Not Just for Kicks

Humor and laughter can be effective self-care tools. They can improve the function of the body, the mind, and the spirit. Humor and laughter can foster a positive and hopeful attitude and gives us a sense of perspective on our problems.

We are less likely to succumb to feelings of depression and helplessness if we are able to laugh at what is troubling us. Laughter provides an opportunity for the release of uncomfortable emotions which, if held inside, may create biochemical changes that are harmful to the body. Finding humor in a situation and laughing freely with others can be a powerful antidote to stress.

The adrenal gland releases corticosteroids during dress and that elevated levels of these have an immunosuppressive effect. Lee Berk’s research demonstrates that laughter can lower cortisol levels and thereby protect our immune system. Other researchers have supported these findings. We cannot control events in our external world but we have the ability to control how we view these events and the emotional response we choose to have to them.

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