How to Use Laughter to Deal With Stress
One of the best ways to deal with stress is to use laughter. Throughout the last two decades, a
myriad of different forms of therapy revolving around laughter have produced incredible stress
From laughter therapy to laughter yoga, from smile therapy to comedy therapy, therapists all over
the world have found that the small act of smiling or laughing can create profound change.
Laughter Helps Release Happiness Chemicals
Both stress and joy are caused by neuro-chemicals. When you're stressed, your brain causes the rest
of your body to contract. It also triggers neighboring emotions, like fear or anger.
On the contrary, when you release your brain's happiness chemicals, such as serotonin, a whole
different set of cascading effects occur.
Your body will relax. You'll feel less stressed. You'll feel less angry at other people. Your situation
in life will seem to be much more bearable. Whatever was bothering you won't seem to be such a
Can You Create Laughter Systematically?
The answer is yes, absolutely. Several patients of severe medical disorders have tried watching
comedies every single day to get themselves to laugh just to see what happened.
Doctors found that patients who regularly laughed felt improved mood, more optimism about their
situation and at times even improvements in their health conditions.
One exercise you can try is simply to smile for 3 minutes every morning. Or, you can put on a smile
whenever you feel stressed.
This smile might feel forced to you at first. But if you hold that smile for 3 minutes, you'll quickly
find that even a forced smile causes negative emotions to subside.
Try it now: Start by thinking of a negative thought. Then put on a forced smile and hold it for a
couple minutes. Chances are, you'll find it very difficult to keep those negative thoughts in your
mind while you're holding a smile on your face.
Making it a Habit
Being stressed is a habit. It's a common habit; one that people develop unconsciously. Smiling on
the other hand can become a habit, but it's a habit that you'll need to install in your subconscious
To make it a habit to smile more often, figure out a few "cues" that'll remind you to smile.
One good cue is to do it first thing in the morning. Another great cue is when you walk into work.
You can even put it in your calendar. It doesn't matter what cue you choose, as long as it's one that
will get you to remember to smile.
Also, you can use stressful situations as triggers to smile. For example, if you find it stressful to
deal with a specific person, try smiling every time you walk away from a conversation with them.
If it's a specific project, try smiling for 2 minutes whenever you start to work on that project.
If you do this consistently, you'll very quickly find that many of the stressful situations that used to
get to you just don't get to you anymore. The overall level of stress in your life will go down. If
you're unsure of whether or not this will work for you, just give it a try for two weeks.