The Serious Science of Humour During Pandemic
The Serious Science of Humour During Pandemic

The Seriousness of Humour.

FACT #1: The Covid19 spread is no laughing matter and we must all take it seriously. In fact, from my contact at Centre of Disease Control, and other medical professional friends, I hear that the news and restrictions are going to get worse before they begin to get better.

FACT #2: There at a LOT of people in your and my our communities feeling an increased amount of stress and anxiety… yours truly included.

FACT #3: If this increasing level of stress is not dealt with, deliberately and on an ongoing basis, it will compound and cause additional long-term physical and mental health issues. Many of the symptoms will remain hidden at the beginning but as they accumulate, but if ignored the negative health issues will grow to an unmanageable level. Which is exactly what any of us need or want.

Yes, getting out daily to exercise, with safe social-distancing, can make a big positive difference. However, did you also know that scientific studies have show that there is another activity that you can use to stay healthy. And that is…

Laughter through Humour

“HUMOUR? Are you kidding? What’s to laugh about? That seems so trivial. These are serious times.”

When the game of life gets serious, as it is right now, finding stress release through humour has historically proven to be an effective ‘pressure release valve.” A quick search through scientific journals reveal that there are MANY detailed and peer-reviewed studies published that prove the worth of humour and laughter during high-stress situations. detail the reasons why, AND the benefits of, humour use during high stress situations.

For instance, Mayo Clinic has a quick overview, here is an excerpt:

“Whether you’re guffawing at a sitcom on TV or quietly giggling at a newspaper cartoon, laughing does you good. Laughter is a great form of stress relief, and that’s no joke.” Here is an quick overview of our findings:

Short-term benefits

A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:

Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.

Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.

Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

Long-term effects

Laughter isn’t just a quick pick-me-up, though. It’s also good for you over the long term. Laughter may:

Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. By contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.

Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers.

Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.

Improve your mood. Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier.

No Guilt Allowed

Some people feel guilty for laughing, or making others laugh during times like these. I say, if you have the ability to laugh or make others laugh then it is your duty. As long as the humour is NOT the type of style where the laughs come at the expense of others, seriously. That serves no one.

Humour as a Habit

For many years, I have made it a habit to start my day by reading comics I enjoy before jumping into the news of the day. THEN at the end of the day, my routine includes finding something funny on YouTube so that I end the day with some chuckles. Watching comedians I like doing stand-up, or a great comedic interview for instance always end my day with a jolt of positive.

I have found these habits and routines to be incredibly effective in managing stress, helping to keep the ‘mental wolves’ at bay. Some days it takes some effort to find a laugh, but after this many years of instilling the habit I know it is worth the effort. In fact, I have discovered that on those more difficult days, the hunt for a laugh becomes even more important to my mental well being on the following morning.

Is it easy to allow oneself to laugh everyday? Not at the beginning it sure isn’t. But over the long-term, being consistent with this approach has helped me approach life’s inevitable ups and downs with a clearer head and a more positive outlook.  Give it a try for 30 consistent days. There is zero downside risk and a huge upside potential.

The negative news will be spreading faster than the virus is for the next number of weeks/months, but together we can keep our good humour even during these darker times so our community stays healthy and thriving.

It All Starts With A Smile At Everyone You Meet.

Be Well, Be Smart, Be Community Oriented. The time to come together is now.

Yes, we all have different tastes in humour but if you have some recommended humour – podcasts, comics, youtubes, comedians etc that you think will help reduce the stress level of your fellow citizens, post the link below in the comments for all to see or post them on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thereinman .

Until our paths cross again. “Laugh Heartily – It Is Contagious”

In fact, when we look back at history we see that humour has ALWAYS played an important role during times like these.

The Serious Science of Humour During Pandemic was last modified: May 1st, 2020 by Don R. Campbell
 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Additional Resources
 
Recent Posts
 

Stay Ahead of the Market Trends

Sign Up For FREE Newsletter

 
First Name :
Last Name :
Email :
Province :

Live Events
View All Events