It’s hard to laugh when you are stressed out. I mean, who the heck wants to laugh when you are running late, the kids aren’t dressed for school, you forgot to drink the ambrosia that is coffee that you made an hour ago before your littlest one started crying and you look down at your shoes to realize that there is a wet, stinky hairball in them. Again. Yeah, life is tough, especially at 7:30am on the way out the door. You certainly don’t want to laugh. You would rather just crawl back under the covers and try again- or better yet, just sleep through it all.
However, laughter has been shown to be a formidable opponent to stress. It increases the blood flow, relieves tension and the chemicals produced during a good guffaw actually sticks around for a while and calms your brain. It is also instrumental in beating back anxiety, depression and anger. So, it’s great, right? Like, who doesn’t want to feel good? It’s not like you are stressing because you actually want to.
So, how do you do it? How do you make yourself laugh? There are actually 2 different ways to try. One is external, the other is internal. If you were to try externally, you are hoping that an external force will make you laugh. A website, a joke or your family. Here are some websites I enjoy when I need to relax, laugh and decompress:
- Mindbleach.com– Kitties and other cute animals doing cute and humorous things
- Sanitaryum– Clean, fun pictures and jokes
- Hyperbole and a Half- The author hasn’t posted on here in over a year and a half, but I like to refer to this one because she has a huge amount of posts that are funny, witty and is easy to relate to. She also does a very good job of describing depression, their effects and living through it in a way that makes you laugh, as you empathize with her.
Internally, try relaxing your mind. Find that place that you like to drive to that is just too far away right now, but you know when you get there it will be an amazing experience. Think about this place and go there in your mind. After relaxing for a few minutes, start to think of the last time you laughed, something that you weren’t expecting and replay this over in your head. The remembered experience will help induce a short laugh, which will hopefully kickstart a good mood.
And if all else fails, here’s a joke to get you started:
How many therapists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
One, but the bulb has to want to change.