Self Care Post of the Week – Laughter

*I want to start these self care posts by saying that I’m not a professional. I’m just someone who suffers from both anxiety and depression. These are all things that I personally do that help me either physically, mentally or both. What works for me may not work for you – so take these ideas as a stepping stone to figure out what resonates with and helps you. Something I DO know is the more consistent I am in focusing on various self care things for myself, the better I feel. As I write these, they will be added to the Self Care page so they can be easily found and not jumbled in with all the blog posts.

Laughter really is the best medicine. I know when I’m feeling depressed, I really don’t feel like laughing – but if I can find something that does make me laugh, it certainly lifts my mood significantly. Have you ever had a really good laugh session and when you’re done you can feel how much you used the muscles in your stomach? Then when you’re done you also feel so relaxed, like the tension you were feeling has just completely left your body? It’s amazing just how much laughter can affect us both physically and mentally. When you laugh you release endorphins, the body’s feel good chemicals. Not just helping melt away the stress you’re feeling but because you’re melting away that stress, it increases your immune system.

I find when I’ve had a good laugh session that it helps the darkness brighten and really puts a pause on the anxious and stressful feelings. When those hard feelings are paused by laughing, it’s much easier to feel the happiness and even look forward to hope and the future by shifting my perspective.

If you can’t get yourself all the way to that all-encompassing laugh, even just a smile is the beginning of getting to laughter. Have you ever been somewhere, not feeling the greatest and someone randomly smiles at you so you smile back and it resets your moment and lifts your mood? Same thing with being around others who are laughing – it’s contagious! 

I know it’s not always the most popular idea, but sometimes fake it till you make it can also slowly shift your mood.  I’m all for feeling the feels and processing my feelings, but there is a time and place for smiling and laughing when you don’t feel like it to help lift your mood and make a shift in your head. 

Here’s some ideas as a start to help get you laughing:
Watch a sitcom or look up something funny on YouTube
Bring it into conversation by asking someone the funniest thing that happened lately
Look up jokes
Go to a comedy club
Have a game night with friends
Play with a child
Do something enjoyable (karaoke? mini golf? dancing?)

How are you incorporating laughter into your life?  What’s your go-to when you need a giggle?  Share your ideas in the comments below!

Until next time, xoxo