For those who don’t know me I am a big fan of slapstick and situational comedy. To answer my question, in the film Big Hero 6 there is a scene with Sellotape, a robot and a policeman it just makes me laugh thinking about it you should check it out. Sherriff J W is a character out of a James Bond film, it is not that funny but it reminds me of the belly laughs I had with friends as we mimicked the voice and used the narrative of that scene.
Just take a minute and think about things that have happened to you, film scenes you have watched, family situations that just make you laugh.
You maybe thinking what has this got to do with resilience? Here is the thing. There is evidence to suggest that there are great benefits to laughter.
There is a saying that laughter is good medicine. I think we would all agree.
Alison Beard in the HBR article, “Leading with Humor.” “Laughter relieves stress and boredom, boosts engagement and well-being, and spurs not only creativity and collaboration but also analytic precision and productivity.”
What happens then when you start laughing?
It could be that at the moment you are feeling overwhelmed by stress, which this pandemic is inducing in various ways. However, it is true that as human beings we have the capacity to laugh at the strangest of times and yet it is what we need just now.
It enhances your intake of “oxygen-rich air,” increasing your brain’s release of endorphins. It “can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.”
Practice makes perfect – faking laughter is as good as the real thing and usually leads to the latter. The brain doesn’t distinguish between the fake or real so the same benefits of muscles relaxing, breathing deeper, fading stress all happen.
Whenever I am with my kids I find it impossible not to tell the odd joke or two – that’s right the Dad jokes. The funny thing is even though they groan they generally laugh as well.
What can you do today to change your current narrative? Think of those things that make you laugh, perhaps even connect with friends, family and colleague and share a laugh together. If nothing else it will lift your mood, help reduce stress and relax your muscles.
Next week why resilience is helpful.
Laugh out loud. Stay Safe