Do you feel as if
there is a battle
going on inside of
you and you have
no control...?

10 Ways Humour Helps

10 Ways Humour Help

"Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly." - G.K. Chesteron

Of all my tools to combat stress, anxiety & depression, humour is by far the most fun!

Having a good sense of humour is one of the most important characteristics of all happy and successful people.  A good sense of humour helps you to solve problems, improve your relationships, and have a positive outlook on virtually every aspect of your life.

You've probably heard sayings like "laughter is the best medicine", well, science has now proven that humour really does help.  In some hospitals they even have laughter wards, you can attend laughter classes in many cities, and doctors, like Patch Adams used humour to help healing.  In Australia we have our very own Fairy Sparkle who inspires wellness, courage and hope, and really is "Sparkling the way..."  

I use humour in my counselling and hypnotherapy practice with clients.  I find it's the quickest way to get out of yourself long enough to get another perspective on the situation. The following are 9 ways that humour helps.  Enjoy. 

 

Humour Combats Fear

Humour changes your perspective and disengages fear.

In relationships, playful humour builds strength...
In business, humour disarms stress...
In life, humour helps you lighten up...

Sometimes when we are so scared of doing the wrong thing, we forget to play and have fun.  Humour brings balance.  Laughter forces a few steps - steps create distance – distance between you and what you fear.
 

 

Humour Comforts

Charlie Chaplin once said, "To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it".

I suppose that's why some of the funniest comedians have journeyed through periods of torment (and come out the other side). A lot of the truly funny comedians take the worst events we could possibly imagine happening to us, and they pock fun at them. The unspoken message is "laughter is the best medicine". 

Suggestion: If you need a good laugh - consider the Sydney Comedy Festival or the Melbourne International Comedy Festival; or take time out and watch Australian's funniest home videos

 

 

Humour Relaxes

Relaxing reduces anxiety and stress, improves energy, increases recovery time from illness and aids sleep. Humour, on the other hand, helps you see the lighter side of life, breaks tension in a difficult situation and can be used as a positive intervention to assist you to relax. Combined - humour relaxes.  It relaxes the whole body. A hearty belly laugh relieves physical tension and stress, for up to 45 minutes, leaving your muscles relaxed and your mind feeling better.

 

 

Humour Reduces Pain

Today we have a better understanding of how laughter affects human physiology.  Laughter produces pain-killing hormones in response to laughter. Many hospitals have even created "humour rooms", places where patients can go to watch a good comedy, engage in a joke, and share humour with each other to reduce pain and assist in the recovery from any kind of illness.

A recent article in the journal of physiology states "A little humour relaxes the gallbladder" - well gosh, that's got to be good for you - might even help get rid of some nasty gall-stones!

 

Humour Boosts The Immune System

The physiological response produced by laughter decreases the levels of stress hormones and produces healthy or positive emotions.  Laughter increases the production of cells that strengthen the immune function and fight infections, therefore improving your resistance to disease.

But be careful -
laughter is infectious!
 

Humour Reduces Stress

It may seem like a momentary distraction, but what humour does is takes the focus away from the anger, guilt, stress, anxiety and negative emotions and focuses in a more positive way.  Plainly put - it changes your perspective. To learn more about stress and anxiety, check out our online learning paths: stress, anxiety
 

Humour Builds Resilience

The connection between humour and the development of resilience has been the focus of many studies since the 1990's. It is known that programs that develop humour can contribute to resilience in children, adults and even clinicians. If your therapist can't see the lighter side of life, how are they going to help you too! Check out the stress section to learn the 4 Secrets to Build Resilience .

Click here to find out if you need to get help for yourself or some-one you know:
help yourself or   help another

   

Humour Spreads Happiness

Humour is the shortest distance between two people.  It disengages fear and helps people connect to each other. In relationships, playful humour builds strength. In business, humour disarms stress. Spread a little humour around and build your relationships.

 

 

Humour In The Workplace: Reduces Job Stress

Here's a quick look at what humour can do to improve your workplace:

* Improve Employee Morale by making the workplace more fun, less negative and can even increase performance.
* Rather than being distracting, humour can help people become more focused on the task at hand.
* Humour Boosts Creativity - helps people think outside the box
* Strengthens Team Spirits - it's sticky and makes teams more cohesive

 

 

Humour In The Home: Improves Communication

This is good marriage advice for anyone but especially those prone to stress, anxiety and depression. Humour is a way to say those things that are otherwise difficult to say. It's a handy language for people (myself included) who don't like using big words, but who know that humour helps.

Is there an elephant in the room? Humour can help you talk about it.


Summary: 

In its strongest form, humour is not imaginary, it is a real way to deal with a difficult situation.

Needless to say, humour does need boundaries - humour can be destructive if used as a weapon - particularly if used as sarcasm and/or irony, or if it is used as a tool to block communication.  At the very least, avoid laughing at people.

But humour is healing when used as a remedy. It adds lightness to dark situations, gives back our sense of hope, it can offer breathing space for life to go on.   Humour helps produce emotional health where skill building is both valued and learnt.

Humour, like gratitude, cultivates happiness.

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