Laughter Helps Too
Welcome to the Weekly Well-Being Connection! Each week we will share advice from our clinical experts on ways to care for your mental health and well-being throughout COVID-19.
In honor of Global Belly Laugh Day (Yes, that is a thing…it was Sunday, January 24th this year), we wanted to start with a joke.
What did one hat say to another hat? -You stay there. I’ll go on a head.
As you can tell from that joke, puns make me laugh. Hopefully you got a little giggle out of that too.
In all seriousness though, we started thinking about the heaviness and intensity many of us are feeling these days. It can be difficult to find moments of lightness, joy, and laughter, yet we know that these experiences help sustain us in stressful times too.
So, for today, we wanted to share a few tidbits about laughter and hope that you find ways to have a few moments of laughter over the coming days.
- Laughter has both psychological and physiological benefits as a stress management tool. From soothing physical tension to improving our mood, laughter impacts us. Check out this Mayo Clinic article about some benefits of laughter.
- It is ok to laugh, even in highly stressful and sad times! Laughter is a natural human reaction and it allows us to regain our power when our situation has left us feeling powerless. It also helps us connect with others.
- Laughter can help us complete our stress cycle; even remembering a time we had a big full body laugh can help us move through our emotions and stress. Drs. Emily and Amelia Nagoski explain this in their book, Burnout, and talk to Brené Brownabout this in an episode of the Unlocking Us Podcast.
- Sometimes we might need to deliberately seek out things to make us laugh. The resources below have lots of tips. These are a few of my favorites.
- Try laughter mediation. The Colorado Spirit team at AllHealth Network practiced this mediation together over Zoom.
- Practice some laughter yoga. Check out Liliana DeLeo’s TEDx Talk to give this a try and find out why even self-created laughter is impactful.
- Give some “humor interventions” a try. Dr. David Fessell wrote this piece for JAMA about humor in the pandemic. Actions like writing down 3 funny things from your day and reflecting on how they made you feel can be simple shifts to our routine that help us with stress management.
- Find those funny memes, watch those hilarious YouTube videos, and make time for your favorite comedy shows.
While we know that laughter won’t fix everything, we do encourage you to find moments of laughter in your day and allow yourself to have that release.
In closing, one last joke. Maybe you can use this one on National Tell a Joke Day (which the internet assures me is August 16th).
What is the longest word in the English language? – Smiles – There is a MILE between each “s”.
Would speaking to someone help?
For information about other services at AllHealth Network or to get connected with ongoing behavioral health support, please call: 303-730-8858.
AllHealth Network is continuing to provide service via telehealth or by phone and our Crisis Walk-in Center remains open 24/7. To learn more about what other community mental health centers are doing, please visit The Colorado Behavioral Health Council COVID-19 website.
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and are in need of immediate assistance, please call the Colorado Crisis Hotline at 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255.