Humour is a great stress-reducer and an antidote to all manner of upsets. It has been clinically proven to be effective in combating the worst of stress.
Experts know that a good laugh relaxes tension in the muscles, sends more oxygen into your system quicker and lowers your blood pressure.
So the next time you feel yourself start to tense up, tune into your favorite comedy on television or read a funny book. Call a good friend and laugh heartily for a few minutes. It doesn’t even hurt to just force a good laugh now and then. You'll find your stress melting away with each breath you take!
Americans were attracted to humour whilst reading the stories of Norman Cousins. This man successfully overcame cancer by watching his favorite comedy shows on television.
These days, you can attend an organized humour meeting, even in places such as India where laughing in a public place is frowned upon.
Dr. Lee Berk, along with fellow researcher Dr. Stanley Tan at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, has taken up carefully controlled studies that show the experience of laughter lowers serum cortisol levels, increases the amount of activated T lymphocytes, increases the number and activity of natural killer cells, and increases the number of T cells that have helper/ suppresser receptors.
This is powerful evidence that laughter stimulates the immune system and that this off-sets the immunosuppressive effects of stress. Laughter is a powerful medicine!
Research has proven that laughter can lower cortisol levels and thereby protects our immune system.
The emotions and moods that we are all subject to directly affects our immune system. It makes perfect sense, then, that when we cultivate a mood of humor this allows us to perceive and appreciate the everyday nuances of life through experiences of joy and delight.
Such positive states of mood and emotion creates neurochemical changes that act to buffer the immunosuppressive effects of stress.
Stress research pioneer, Selye, noted that a person's interpretation of stress is not dependent only on external events, it also depends on the perception of the event and the meaning that is given to it.
This adds to the fact that we can learn to control our reaction to stress. How we look at a situation, then, determines if we will respond to it as a threat or as a challenge.
Humour gives us an entirely different perspective on our problems. If we can perceive it in a lighter bent it is no longer a threat to us. We have already discounted its effect by lightening it. With such an attitude we serve to self-protect and so control our environment.
Bill Cosby coined an important phrase when he said, "If you can laugh at it, you can survive it."
It certainly is very difficult to force a laugh when in a stressful situation. However, that's precisely the time when you need to laugh the most. Remember, the trick is to take control over your environment or situation. That way you are more apt to feel challenged and less threatened.
Calm over chaos is the phrase of the day. Begin by trying to find humour in the worst of situations. If you must, blow the situation way out of proportion, just to make yourself laugh. Make the serious look ridiculous. When you reach the point of absurdity, you can then begin to melt and calm. Practice makes perfect!
Go to the next step of your guide on how to gain effective stress relief: Self Therapy For Recurrent Daily Stress