Laughter is the best medicine. We’ve all heard this expression, and for good reason – it’s true! A good laugh can change your mood for hours, and can actually improve your health.
Last week I had an event where I brought in Juliet Funt as our main speaker. She was hilarious! With a brief clip of an episode of her father’s old TV show Candid Camera she reminded us of how comical those programs were; and how families used to sit around the TV on a Sunday evening, with a big bowl of freshly popped popcorn, and just laugh. Within only a few minutes of her session Overcommitted, Overwhelmed and Over It! Success Skills for the Blisteringly Busy she had the entire room captivated, and in less than an hour I witnessed the atmosphere of the entire room change. People left the meeting smiling, laughing and enthusiastically talking with one another – it was like the audience had been completely transformed. I overheard one person say, “That was exactly what I needed today.”
Over 25 years ago, Dr. Norman Cousins in his book Anatomy of an Illness described how watching Marx Brother movies and episodes of Candid Camera helped him recover from a life-threatening tissue disease. Cousins made it a point to enjoy a hearty belly laugh several times a day. He said that a few minutes of laughter gave him an hour or more of pain-free sleep.
It’s amazing what a good belly laugh can do. So when the stress is getting to be too much, why not take some time out to watch or listen to something funny. It’s amazing the transformation it can have on your outlook.
I know this works for me, and sometimes after a particularly stressful day, I’ll come home and put on a DVD of the TV show Friends and watch a few episodes until my mood has elevated. Even though I have seen many episodes over and over, they still make me laugh. Early episodes of The Office also has me in stitches before I know it.
There have been a few times when my day has become so stressful that I can wait until I get home to find relief. On those days I’ll take a 15 minutes break and log on to YouTube and search for “comedy”. There I can find a plethora of funny video clips to get me laughing, and soon I can get back to work with a much better attitude.
Do you have favorite comedy shows or comedians who make you laugh so hard it eases your stress? What other things do you do to get a good laugh and relieve stress?