How To Use Humor And Laughter As A Coping Mechanism For Stress!

Humor and Laughter should be used as coping mechanisms for stress, though it seems to only be used as an outlet for the emotion produced by humor or happiness. Do we laugh because we are happy, or are we happy because we laugh? Many times a humorous speaker can help us to see the light in the darkness situations. Both of these are probably true, but we only exercise the former. Laughter is a fascinating phenomenon that works like a medicine. Although most drugs affect everyone differently, laughter is always the same. It exercises your entire body causing you to feel relaxed and pain free. And this is where a professional humorous speaker can help you improve your next meeting or event. The fact that laughter and humorous speaking is good for one’s health should be quite evident. So why not laugh? When one laughs, it is like taking a drug, yet there is no such thing as an overdose or, “laughter toxicity,” as humorous speaker, Dr. Madan Kataria says. Maybe we can now say “A laugh a day keeps the doctor away.” Dr. Kataria is a world authority on laughter and humorous speaking

There’s no doubt that laughter feels good, and that a humorous speaker can help, but is there real neurophysiology behind it and what can you do about it? In a paper being presented in an American Physiological Society session at Experimental Biology 2006, humorous speaker, Lee S. Berk of Loma Linda University, reports that not only is there real science and psychophysiology, but just the anticipation of the “mirthful laughter” provided by humorous speakers involved in watching your favorite funny movie has some very surprising and significant neuroendocrine/hormone effects.

According to Humorous Speaker Berk: “The blood drawn from experimental subjects just before they watched the video had 27% more beta-endorphins and 87% more human growth hormone, compared to blood from the control group, which didn’t anticipate the watching of a humorous video. Between blood pulls, the control group stayed in a waiting room and could choose from a wide variety of magazines,” he explained. *Paper presentation: “Beta-Endorphin and HGH increase are associated with both the anticipation and experience of mirthful laughter, through humorous speakers” 12:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. Sunday April 2, APS Behavioral neuroscience & drug abuse Section abstract 233.18/board #C706. Research was by humorous speaker, Lee S. Berk, Department of Health Promotion and Education, School of Public Health and Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Loma Linda University; humorous speaker, Stanley A. Tan, Oakcrest Health Research Institute, Yucaipa; and humorous speaker, James Westengard, Dept. of Pathology, School of Medicine; Berk is associated with all three institutions and humorous speakers. HGH, endorphin difference is long-lasting; setting the baseline and environment is key Berk said that the strong difference between the two groups in terms of human growth hormone (HGH) and beta-endorphin blood levels was maintained from just prior to the beginning of video watching, throughout the hour of viewing and afterwards, also.

Most laughter has nothing to do with jokes, concludes researcher and humorous speaker, Prof. Robert Provine. For years he has studied laughter, humorous speaking and humorous speakers and what provokes it. Some of Provine’s conclusions: * Less than 20% of laughter was in response to anything resembling a joke * People and humorous speakers are 30 times more likely to laugh in groups than alone (hence, TV’s laugh tracks) * Female humorous speakers laugh more than male humorous speakers, except when they are listening to a woman * The talker chuckles nearly 50% more than his/her listener does. If you follow these tried and true steps to laugh more, you will see that you are managing your stress better through the use of humor and humorous speakers.

Humor As A Stress Reducer and Energizer

Work is often associated with stress, and we know that stress is one of the main causes of illness, absenteeism, and burnout. Humor is a great stress reliever because it makes us feel good, and we can’t feel good and feel stress simultaneously. At the moment we experience humor, feelings like depression, anger, and anxiety dissolve.

Humor and, its partner, laughter also reduce stress by activating the physiological systems including the muscular, respiratory, cardiovascular, and skeletal. In fact, we may even lose muscle control, as many of us have, when we laugh so hard that we fall down or wet our pants. Laughter has been labeled a jogging and juggling of the internal organs. When we laugh we feel physically better, and after laughter we feel lighter and more relaxed.

In addition, humor provides a psychological stress reducer as it snaps our thinking to another channel. Norman Cousins called it trainwrecks of the mind. One of the characteristics of humor is that it involves incongruity. We find things humorous when they are incongruous or mismatched. Good jokes guide us down one path only to suddenly track us onto another. The tracking is what we call the punch line. As we are tracked over, our thinking shifts and, in fact, breaking the mind set of the thinking leads to increased creativity.

Consider the story of the midwestern farmer crossing Harvard square searching for the library. He approaches a stately looking gentleman, who happens to be a Harvard English professor, and he asks, “Excuse me sir. Can you tell me where the library is at?” The professor looks somewhat disdainfully and replies, “At Harvard we do not end sentences with prepositions.” After a pause the farmer turns back to the professor and asks, “Well then, can you tell me where the library is at…Asshole.” In this joke we are guided down one path and suddenly tracked over to another. The incongruity is what we experience as humorous.

We know that all good lecturers have many jokes, stories, and anecdotes that are shared in order to command attention and energize the audience. Humor wakes us up and increases our attending. An office bulletin board loaded with cartoons, one liners, jokes, pictures, etc. is one way to invite humor into the workplace. A few moments of humor at work can lead to increased productivity as the newly energized employee returns to his or her task.

If you are having a bad day and would like to brighten it up, all you might have to do is to read a joke a funny story. There are plenty of resources on the web, including humor blogs, Digg-Humor, Funny-Or-Die and Fun’N’Love.

Humor is a major career asset, so let’s be serious about humor and use humor to lighten our seriousness in the workplace. As we increase our personal humor quotient and spread our humor contagiously to others, we will begin to see the “lite” at the end of the tunnel.