Laughter in Tough Times

Feel Better Today by Laughing

You’re experiencing a tough time in your life right now.

From one view, things are worsening. Everything around you is falling apart, and you find it hard to cheer up and laugh.

I can relate.

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Feel Better Today by Laughing
Creative Commons’ Flickr Photo Courtesy of Francisco Osorio.

Upon experiencing unemployment, I questioned whether I should escape from it all for a little while to enjoy some humor. As I moved from unemployment to long-term unemployment and physical uncertainty loomed, I questioned this all the more.

Letting go of a good laugh became easier as I wondered:

  • Should I laugh when the going is tough?
  • Why laugh when I should be serious during such a time?

The thing is this: when going through difficult times, we have 1 of 2 choices: laugh or cry. And many times, the best choice is the laughing one.

Side Tracking Moment : Crying is also a necessary choice to some situations in life. We must know whether to express humor or sadness when presented with a choice.

Back on Track: Laughter is a great way to put the fun in frustration. While managing challenges in life, we must not neglect the lighter side of it.

We just can’t take everything seriously – unless we want to lose it mentally.

Realizing this made it easier for me to choose to get a good laugh in – even privately – while going through hardship.

So, I’ll ask: how long has it been since you had a good laugh?

Have you laughed today?

If not, then why don’t you? You deserve it!

Ways to Get a Laugh

What are some ways you can get a much-needed – even silent – laugh?

  • Watch Something Funny – check out a funny movie, sitcom, or video for some humor.
  • Enjoy Time with Family and/or Friends – enjoy a day or night out surrounded by uplifting family and friends. You’re guaranteed lots of laughter.
  • Think About Good Times – focus on beautiful memories. Brighten your day by remembering past events in which you enjoyed yourself and were happy. Recall something funny and replay it mentally. Laugh.

Warning . . .

Laughter won’t change your circumstances. What it will do, however, is uplift your spirit and make you feel better – even if it’s only momentarily.

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Feel Better Today by Laughing
Unsplash Original Photo Courtesy of Bao-Quan Nguyen.
Edited by Me.

3 Health Benefits of Smiling and Laughing

Not only will a good laugh make you feel better, it’ll also leave you with health benefits as well. Consider the following benefits.

Laughing is a Good Workout for Your Heart.

If you’re unable to engage in physical activities at the moment, then laughter is considered a workout activity. In particular, laughter is a type of cardio workout and benefits your heart in the following ways according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Heart and Vascular Institute:

  • Lowering blood pressure — lowering blood pressure can reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke.”
  • Reducing stress hormone levels — reducing stress hormones in your body can in higher immune system performance.”
  • Increasing the number of T-cells — T cells are specialized immune system cells that boost your immune system and help fight off sickness.”
  • Improving overall cardiovascular health — …it gets your heart pumping and burns a similar amount of calories per hour as walking at a slow to moderate pace.”

Even a smile will do it for you. Check out the benefits of smiling.

Smiling is a Natural Stress Reducer.

In a study by psychological scientists Tara Kraft and Sarah Pressman of the University of Kansas, they found “smiling facilitates stress”.

They studied 169 participants, instructing them to perform a stressful task: holding chopsticks in their mouths in three different ways to create smiles. Only half of them were instructed to smile.

As a result of their study, they concluded:

“…smiling during brief stressors can help to reduce the intensity of the body’s stress response, regardless of whether a person actually feels happy.”

Think about it: just disconnecting from your challenges for a little while to enjoy a laugh from a funny movie or video provides you with a way to reduce your stress for the day.

Smiling is a Mood Booster.

Research by Psychologists at the University of Cardiff in Wales studied participants who were unable to smile after receiving Botox Injections. They found the following:

“The participants reported feeling happier and less anxious — and the researchers partly chalked it up to their inability to pout.”

Smiling puts you in a happy state – and improves your mood immediately. Even if you don’t feel like laughing, put on a smile!

From Me to You: When going through a life transition, you struggle with being okay daily. Laughing becomes one of the hardest things to do. But, I say: laugh this day!

So, again I’ll ask: Have you smiled or laughed today?

Disclaimer: This article contains outgoing links to the works of others on the following websites: Psychological Science, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and Everyday Health.

P. S. How do you keep a smile on your face when going through tough times? I’d love to read your comment below.