Today’s Solutions: July 06, 2022

Over the past few weeks, most of us have found some relief from COVID-19 anxieties with the help of cartoons, memes, and jokes to loved ones. If a daily chuckle is keeping you sane during these bizarre and frustrating times, you’re not alone. Humor is a remarkably powerful tool for overcoming challenging times. 

As we discuss in our Ode to Laughter View from a few months back, laughter can reduce blood pressure, release endorphins, increase heart and brain health, and even boost your immune system. 

The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor is a non-profit that works with researchers across the country to study the benefits of laughter for emotional and physical wellbeing. Their research has found that simply anticipating humor can lead to a 39 percent reduction in stress levels and workers are two times more productive after taking a “humor break” at work. 

Laughter is also contagious. Neuroscientist Robert Provine found that we are 30 times more likely to laugh if we are with others. This may be a bit more difficult as we isolate, but finding ways to laugh with those we love is still possible even during a pandemic. 

If you’re isolating with others, try watching a hilarious movie, sharing funny cartoons, or playing games together. If you’re isolated by yourself, you can still share these experiences with someone via video chat. You can also schedule a time to watch the same movie as someone at the same time in your own respective homes. 

The internet is the unsung hero of self-isolation. This vast resource for hilarious material can be essentially inexhaustible. Try following a couple of accounts that post quality humorous content. The New Yorker Cartoon account is a great starting place. Videos from comedians and talk show hosts who are operating remotely offer good options. Lastly, if you’re bored of your go-to shows on TV, try finding a new humorous show or comedy special on your favorite streaming platform. Maybe even create a group chat with your friends to share your hilarious favorites. 

Humor is a comforting resource shared by all societies. Maybe this is why babies laugh before they can even talk. Laughter is our bodies’ natural stress reducer which is why we often turn to humor in times of pressure. We are facing serious challenges as a society, but that doesn’t mean we can’t lighten the mood with some laughter. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, lonely, sad, or anxious right now, try indulging in some laughter to brighten your day. It’s such a simple solution, but that is what makes it so wonderful.

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