Laughter Is Still the Best Medicine for Stress

Having a hard day at the office? It might be time to cue up those funny videos or sneak off to talk to your most hilarious co-worker. Laughter, as we're so frequently reminded, is one of the best ways to deal with stress, especially at the office.

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(Photo Credit: Chris Huggins/Flickr)

"When we are stretched taut with tension, it's hard to think of anything funny. As the old saying goes, 'It's hard to remember you are there to drain the swamp when you are wrestling with alligators,'" writes Marilyn Tam at The Huffington Post. "Fortunately in our world, the alligators are usually only in our minds, so it is possible for us to step back, take a deep breath and wonder how this crisis would look to us five or ten years from now. That can help us put the issue in perspective and that it's not end of the world after all, and we can even laugh about how wound up we've become over it."

Laughter Forces Us to Take a Break

Stress tends to build in a snowball effect. One thing creates tension, and then while we're distracted dealing with the first situation, something else goes wrong. Soon, we're all wound up and out of energy, psychic or physical, to tackle even the normal demands of everyday life at the office.

Laughter gives you a moment to realize that your problems aren't as big as they seem when you're in the middle of them. Once you get a little perspective, it's easier to regroup and tackle issues one at a time.

Looking on the Bright Side Wins People Over

Even if you're the head of the company, you need goodwill from the people who work with you and for you, in order to get stuff done. The right type of humor -- the kind that allows us to laugh at ourselves and situations, not mock other people -- can woo stakeholders and make them feel sympathetic to your goals.

Laughter Is Good for Your Health

The Mayo Clinic says that laughter does everything from stimulating your heart, lungs, and muscles, to improving your immune system, to relieving pain.

It's readily accessible, non-addictive, and best of all, free. It just might be the cure for your workaday stress.

Tell Us What You Think

How do you deal with stress? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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