As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt daily life, we have launched this blog series dedicated entirely to different areas of mental wellness. These blogs are based on a mental wellness initiative that we have started within our communities for our residents entitled “Recharge Your Battery”. This initiative focuses on mental wellness strategies and equips our associates with the tools they need to check in with our residents and to address any needs, just as we would with physical health.
For today’s topic, we’ll be focusing on introducing humor into our day to day lives as our final installment to this blog series. We have a lot to gain from taking time to laugh! Laughter has the following effects on our overall mental health.
- Releases endorphins. Endorphins are natural chemicals in the body that promote a sense of well-being and relieve stress.
- Decreases anger. When we’re in a difficult situation or in a disagreement with another person, seeing the humor in it can help. Specifically, laughter defuses anger, conflict and self-blame.
- Eases distressing emotions. Laughter counteracts feelings of anxiety and sadness. It also helps us release other intense emotions, such as grief.
- Relaxes and revitalizes. Along with reducing stress, laughter also increases our energy levels. Therefore, we can stay focused more easily.
- Changes your perspective. Laughter helps us access another point of view. Additionally, we begin to see something in a new, less scary way when we can laugh about it. In addition, humor helps us take things less seriously.
- Reduces stress. When we laugh and smile, cortisol levels decrease. Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone, so lower levels are better for our mental health. Therefore, laughter increases our stress resilience.
- Brings more joy and fun into our life.
Are you ready to start introducing more humor in your life? Start today with our simple tips!
- Spend time with pets. Our furry friends have an excellent sense of humor!
- Do something really silly – or something you may have done as a kid.
- Listen to fun music or dance. Don’t be afraid to get your groove on!
- Watch some classic sitcoms like I Love Lucy or The Dick Van Dyke Show.
- Practice telling jokes – you can even share them with your family, friends and neighbors!