Laugh Off Stress and Worry

In light of the unexpected way 2020 has unfolded, it’s no wonder that some of the most-watched shows and movies on TV right now are comedies.  We all need a break from work, cleaning, cooking and the onslaught of negativity in the news and on social media.  Research confirms that laughter may indeed be the best medicine for stress, anxiety, isolation and sadness; humor helps lift the spirits and remind us that joy can still be found during challenging times. 

According to a recent McMaster University Optimal Aging Portal post, the past few months in isolation has been especially hard on older adults who may be shut off from others feeling alone, frightened and worried.  Although daily routines, letters, phone calls and video chats relieve some of the stress, finding some humor in what we watch and read can also help people keep life in perspective and not fall into depression. 

A recent survey of 10 studies that included more than 800 participants sought to quantify the effects of laughter and humor on depression, anxiety and sleep quality among adults.  The review found that using humor interventions to promote well being and reduce negative emotions in adults was a safe, convenient and useful tool that could be used as an aspect of psychotherapy. 

But finding the funny doesn’t have to be a part of clinical therapy, it’s available to everyone.  Whether old episodes of The Office or Cheers tickle your fancy or you are rewatching Grace and Frankie or Schitt’s Creek, there is a show to help maintain your sense of “ha ha”, even in a pandemic.  Treat Dad next weekend to a movie night in with a classic comedy like Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Groundhog Day or Monty Python and the Holy Grail; sometimes a bit of silly can go a long way.   Readers can rely on David Sedaris, Nora Ephron or Gary Larson for a humorous escape through the written word or audiobook.

In the meantime; here’s a little something to make you smile:

“What’s the best way to watch a fly fishing tournament? Live stream.”

Source:  ScaryMommy Fun and Games