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LAUGHTER – Laughter is the opposite of stress.  

Stress and laughter are reactions to things not going the way as we think they should be going.  

A good laugh can be compared to a mild workout, as it exercises the muscles, gets the blood flowing, decreases blood pressure and stress hormones, improves sleep patterns and boosts the immune system.

The following are some idesa to incorporate more laughter and joy in your life:

  • Don’t take life too seriouslyWe all have obstacles in life and we all make mistakes.  There is no reason to beat yourself up over it.  In fact, if you can laugh light-heartedly at your own shortcomings and weaknesses, you’ll find that you give yourself that extra happiness and confidence boost that can get you over any hurdle. This also extends to other people.  Try not to be too hard on others — a smile and a chuckle goes a lot further than criticism.
  • Find the humor in a bad situation.  Sure, there are some situations that are genuinely sad and certainly not laughing matters. However, most situations in life have an ironic or ludicrous side to them.  The next time you feel the stress levels rising, take a minute to think about the irony of the situation and allow yourself to laugh over the things you cannot control.  This will decrease the amount of cortisol that your body produces due to stress, lowering your blood pressure, blood sugar levels and heart rate.
  • Remind yourself of funny moments from the past.  Perhaps a friend told you a great joke the other day, your children or pets did something amusing, or maybe you watched a funny movie recently that had you in stitches.  Call on these memories frequently, especially when you are feeling sad, angry or stressed. 
  • Surround yourself with fun people who like to laugh a lot.  As the saying goes, laughter is contagious, so make a point to seek out positive people who aren’t afraid to laugh at themselves and who have a knack for finding humor in life’s situations.  Young children are especially adept at finding laughter and joy in everyday moments. 

Try some laughing exercises: 

1. Sit in rigid chair and grab the edges of the chair as tight.  Make the body tensed—chest, shoulders, arms, legs, neck and face.  Now holding the body tensioned, laugh out loud.  Could you maintain that tension in your body and laugh at the same time?   No you couldn’t.   You either held the tension and didn’t laugh or you had to let go of the tension in order to laugh.

2. Next time you feel yourself tensing up because of stress, take a laughter break.  Just allow yourself to laugh out loud even if for a few seconds because it will break your tension and hopefully help you to refocus yourself.  3. Count by laughing: The first says “ha,” the second says “Ha Ha,” the third says “Ha Ha Ha,” etc.  The higher the count goes, the funnier it gets!

3. Everybody laughs at the same time out loud for a solid minute without stopping.  You will feel better after this exercise! 


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