Stress basics (10)
- Stress assessment: Rate your stress level
- Stress symptoms: Effects on your body, feelings and behavior
- How to be happy: Tips for cultivating contentment
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Stress relief (23)
- Stress relief from laughter? Yes, no joke
- Spirituality and stress relief: Make the connection
- Need stress relief? Try the four A's
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Relaxation techniques (9)
- Massage: Get in touch with its many benefits
- Yoga: Fight stress and find serenity
- Tai chi: A gentle way to fight stress
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Stress relief from laughter? Yes, no joke
How to improve — or gain — a sense of humor
Are you afraid you have an underdeveloped — or nonexistent — funny bone? No problem. Humor can be learned. In fact, developing or refining your sense of humor may be easier than you think.
- Put humor on your horizon. Find a few simple items, such as photos or comic strips that make you chuckle. Then hang them up at home or in your office. Keep funny movies or comedy albums on hand for when you need an added humor boost.
- Laugh and the world laughs with you. Find a way to laugh about your own situations and watch your stress begin to fade away. Even if it feels forced at first, practice laughing. It does your body good.
- Share a laugh. Make it a habit to spend time with friends who make you laugh. And then return the favor by sharing funny stories or jokes with those around you.
- Knock-knock. Browse through your local bookstore or library's selection of joke books and get a few rib ticklers in your repertoire that you can share with friends.
- Know what isn't funny. Don't laugh at the expense of others. Some forms of humor aren't appropriate. Use your best judgment to discern a good joke from a bad, or hurtful, one.
Laughter is the best medicine
Go ahead and give it a try. Turn the corners of your mouth up into a smile and then give a laugh, even if it feels a little forced. Once you've had your chuckle, take stock of how you're feeling. Are your muscles a little less tense? Do you feel more relaxed or buoyant? That's the natural wonder of laughing at work.Previous page
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- Seaward BL. Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for Health and Well-Being. Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett; 2009:258.
- Karren KJ, et al. Mind/Body Health: The Effect of Attitudes, Emotions and Relationships. New York, N.Y.: Benjamin Cummings, 2010:461.
- Bennett MP, et al. The effect of mirthful laughter on stress and natural killer cell activity. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. 2003;9:38.