“We don’t stop laughing because we grow old; We grow old because we stop laughing” – Michael Pritchard
Daily Nugget of Gold 1487
The Value of Laughter
In this session we’re going to look at the wonderful effects of laughter when it comes to stress reduction and more. If you think about it, it’s really impossible to be focused on something stressful when we’re laughing. One of the strange things about people is that we sometimes get so addicted to the stress, we will purposefully avoid the idea of availing ourselves to humor because we don’t want to ruin the (sour) mood. Oh, that’s not what we say. We’ll say things like, “I don’t feel like watching comedy right now” or something like that.
When we are in a stressful mood, our hypothalamus gland secretes a chemical signal into our bloodstream triggering the “fight or flight” response from the body. We then suppress those urges and usually feel “stressed out”. The bad news about this natural body reaction to stress is that it can become genuinely addictive. Being addicted to one of the chemical compounds that the hypothalamus creates- particularly the ones designed to in some way address a negative situation just isn’t a good thing.
By staying in the pool of stress, we invite more and more stress into our lives. Laughter is curative here. There is a response from the hypothalamus for the heightened states of joy laughter creates. We can prove that to you by your own evidence. Do you remember being in a particularly giddy mood and laughing about one thing after another with someone, a time when it seemed that each little thing made you laugh harder and harder to the point where it seemed you couldn’t stop? Then you find one more thing to laugh about- something that at any other moment didn’t seem like it would be funny and you found yourselves laughing uncontrollably? Yup. Same deal. Only this time you felt good.
When we’re sick and tired from stress wiping us out, we often will phase that as “I don’t feel good.”, or perhaps, “I’m so stressed out right now.” Just remember that when we feel like that, it’s the best time to watch or read something funny. It’s not to “take our mind off the stress” so much as it is to redirect ourselves to a better state of mind or being.
Let’s enjoy life more by laughing more often and stressing less. In the end, it’s the quality of life which matters, not so much the quantity. Who wants to live to be 100 and be miserable the whole time? But don’t fret it, one of the safest ways we can make sure we won’t live that long is by being stressed out all the time.
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“What can I do to train myself to seek out sources of laughter when I’m feeling stressed?”
Copyright 2016 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.