Life may have many difficulties, but there’s usually a funny side to every situation.
My cousin Karina Wegner is a psychologist in Australia’s sub-tropical Hervey Bay. Karina’s well-researched expert opinion is that “you should have as much fun as possible and laugh as much as you can. When you couple these together, you should be able to keep ‘depression’ (what they now call the disease of the 21st century) away. When you enjoy yourself and laugh, you will increase the serotonin levels in your body, thereby decreasing the risk of depression. When my clients leave my office in Queensland’s Hervey Bay, my practice manager makes sure the client is laughing or at least smiling before they leave. I have a waiting list of near three months and my clients travel long distances to see the “Optimistic Psychologist.”
University studies have shown laughter can improve your immune system. increase disease-fighting antibodies and lower inflammation in the body. Laughter increases heart rate and blood flow and has similar health benefits to exercising. Endorphins are released during laughter, which helps to relieve pain, reduce cravings and stress, and slow the ageing process.
Humour can alleviate feelings of stress and depression.
“Laughter helps to create a positive mental state to deal with negative situations and negative people. It creates hope and optimism to cope with difficult times.”
Laughter Yoga International
It’s not always easy but when family and colleagues test your patience, put a smile on your face – even forced ones help. Try to find the humour in the situation and make a light-hearted comment. Not always easy, but give it a go!
In Part 2 of my book “Optimism: The How and Why”, there’s a chapter on the humour of optimism which may help lighten your mood and put people at ease as you become more of an infectious optimist. On the Centre for Optimism website, there’s a page of optimism jokes too.
Otherwise, go out and buy a book of jokes or dust off those joke books gathering dust on your bookshelves.