Stress, Health, and Humor
If you feel a smile begin, don't leave it undetected, let's start an epidemic quick, and get the world infected! ~ Russell H. Conwell
We all face stress in some form every day, whether in our homes, workplaces, or on the roads between them. Our ability to deal with challenging situations affects not only our happiness, but also our blood pressure, heart rate, and immune system. Stress and health are linked.
There are many ways to address stress. Some find relief by exercising, picking up a hobby, or socializing. According to researchers, humor is also an effective stress combatant. Finding humor around us can derail our stressful thoughts and help us regain perspective in regard to life’s difficulties. As we experience humor, feelings of frustration, anger and anxiety dissolve. Laughter further reduces stress by stimulating our musculoskeletal, respiratory and cardiovascular systems. We feel lighter and more relaxed after laughing.
Work can be stressful. Stress in the work place contributes to illness, absenteeism, and low morale. Humor in the workplace facilitates communication, builds relationships, increases creativity, alleviates boredom, and energizes. According to researchers, this is the reason why 98% of CEO’s prefer job candidates who have a sense of humor!
So encourage humor at work. Keep it clean, respectful, and friendly. Funny quotes, cartoons, plaques, and stories can lighten the mood. Silly competitions, theme days, and celebrations can improve morale and increase group cohesiveness and productivity.
Are you stressed? Address your stress! It may be as simple as a new hobby or spending time with friends. Are cop shows and murder mysteries getting you down? Perhaps a change in TV choices or reading material is in order.
Are you feeling exhausted and having difficulty smiling, laughing, and enjoying life? These could be signs of depression. It may be time to check in with your healthcare provider or a counselor. Click here for more information about depression.
Signs of Depression
- Feeling sad or "empty"
- Feeling hopeless, irritable, anxious, or guilty
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
- Feeling very tired
- Not being able to concentrate or remember details
- Not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
- Overeating, or not wanting to eat at all
- Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems.
Ontario County Mental Health