By Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum | Posted Jun 28, 2023
Stress, stress, stress. You cannot look at or listen to anything without hearing how stressed out the world is. And do you know why? Because it is!
There is a truth to the way that we are living that is incredibly stressful. With stress, there is a release of the “stress hormones,” which are epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol. Stress hormones can get us through an urgent and dire problem, but when they are chronically flowing through your body, they can cause the arteries to stiffen, the blood pressure to go up and increase inflammation. They can even cause you to gain weight and decrease your immune system. So, clearly, getting these stress hormones under control is critical. The problem is that we cannot exactly control stress, but we can determine our own personal response to how we handle it.
When we are bombarded with so many things that we lose track of all the reasons we are stressed, I suggest you try to look at things in a different light.
One way is to persevere over all the stressful things, reviewing the list in your mind over and over again. This is a common way to deal with these things when you are overwhelmed, especially when there seems to be no solution. I am going to suggest that you incorporate another tool into your life.
Instead of watching a sad film, watch something that is going to make you giggle out loud. Talk to friends that crack you up and make you belly laugh to your core. Find humor in the parts of your days that are stressful that you cannot control and that have no long-term consequence (sitting in traffic!). Make yourself laugh about the insanity of situations and some of the challenges that you have been dealing with. Even if none of it is funny.
Laughing is a tool that can dilate the arteries, decrease the blood pressure, improve your immune system, and wipe away those stress hormones. Laughing can make your body think that it is out of the danger zone, and it can relax for a moment. It can help you with your relationships, and even physiologically make you feel less stressed!
Knock, knock …who’s there? Did I make you laugh?