Humor + Amusement = Less Stress

Ever wonder why there are so many cat, dog, and goat videos all over the internet?

It’s simple- They make us laugh and give us a micro shot of relief!

As adults, many times our puritanical work ethic can get the best of us.  It keeps our nose to the grindstone and makes us think too seriously of ourselves sometimes.  Now, I believe it is important to have a good work ethic but it always helps us to alleviate some of that stress with humor and amusement.  And the scientists agree…even the ones over at Harvard! Whether it is sarcasm or silliness they are on board that it is a good thing.

So how can we implement some of this into our stuffy grown up lives?

Importing Our Humor

The beauty of the internet…we can get humor delivered right to our personal devices. There is an endless supply of virtual destinations to cultivate a continuous stream of wit- memes, videos, texts.  This is the most convenient and instant way to get a giggle fix.  These are also fun to share with others (although, let’s not totally fill someone else’s in box or it could backfire).

Creating Our Own Amusement

There are so many things involved in ‘adulting’, while necessary, are just downright boring and loathsome at times.  If we have to do the laundry, make dinner, pull the weeds or wash the car there are plenty of ways to add a little fun and take the sting out of it.

Music is a great place to start.  You can dance and sing while you complete your chore list.  There is an impressive number of individuals who are great kitchen dancers and shower crooners. If you dance enough, you are also releasing endorphins that trigger happy feelings in your brain.

I personally am an excellent lip sync impresario in the grocery store (I am kind enough to spare the other patrons from my actual but not-so-classically trained voice). It makes shopping more fun and I usually lighten someone else’s day as well- because there’s always at least one who will laugh at the crazy lady on aisle 4.

Talking to ourselves and our pets is also a good way to go.  We can rehearse all the things we’d love to say to others but can’t because we are too civilized.   And aren’t our pets better conversationalists than a lot of people?

There are several unique things people have come up with to add a little fun into the mix- preaching about salmon (yes, I’ve witnessed it and it is hilarious), doing impressions, pretending to be on Food Network when they make dinner, channeling James T. Kirk and overacting their way through their to do list, and making up songs about people to the tune of “O Christmas Tree”.   It’s called creativity!  Have some fun and come up with something that amuses you.

Laughing at Yourself

Lighten up!  Let’s not take ourselves so seriously (there’s time for that in the conference room).

You know when you have those moments, the one where you do an unintentional ridiculous juggling act trying to catch that coffee cup that slipped out of your hand.  And ends with you covered in coffee.  Or the one where you slip and fall on your behind.  You know you’d be laughing if it was someone else.  So learn to laugh when you do it.  It’s way more fun than getting angry and will help release the stress of making a mistake.

We also all come with quirks.  I find that if you frame them in humor then other people will find them more endearing than annoying.  I have a friend who once sent thought bubble stickers so I could fill them in as a way to combat my RBF (Resting Bitch Face).  I now send her text messages with stickers stuck to my forehead.

Silliness

I have to be honest here.  Silliness is way easier when small children are involved.  As we grow older our silliness button starts to short out.  So, if you have the opportunity, be silly with any and all available children.  If you have limited access to kids, let’s not forget all the inside jokes.  Inside jokes are often born of silly situations and can revive an adult level of silliness.

You eat and your body is fed, you laugh and your spirit is fed. Click To Tweet

Rituals and Traditions

Yes, humor can become a habit.  Growing up the best memories I ever had were around the dinner table.  One of our goals as kids was to make my mom laugh so hard that she would stop in the middle of dinner and race to the bathroom before she peed her pants.  Laughing is still a goal at my dinner table.  You eat and your body is fed, you laugh and your spirit is fed.

Certain times and events or meeting with particular people, they can all become a traditional time to foster fun and guffaws.

Reminders

As grown-ups sometimes we need to give ourselves reminders (or booby traps?) to smile and loosen up.  Maybe it’s a joke a day calendar on our desk.   Maybe it is a little tchotchke on a window sill related to a private joke.  Or it could be something cute right under your nose like this:

smile spoon

If you can’t do this on your own or you need a jump start, no one does this better than Kim and Jason over at www.escapeadulthood.com  They are on a mission to fight adultitis and have all kinds of fun stickers and reminders, and even an emergency kit that you can get to help you set yourself up for a little bit of levity in your day.  (No, I am not a paid spokesperson! I just really think they’re doing it right!)

Tailor Your Comic Tool Box

Everyone is different and what tickles my fancy may not tickle yours.  This is a great time to let you be you and start tailoring your stress relief with your brand of humor.  You may not think that preaching about salmon or physical humor is your cup of tea. Maybe you need to hone your sarcasm and sharpen your one liners instead. Whatever you do just up the fun factor!

What is in your tool box?  What makes you giggle?

 

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