They say laughter is the best medicine, and the idiom is surprisingly accurate. For all the miracles of modern medicine, a positive outlook is one of the most effective supplementary treatments. In fact, negative emotions such as stress or despair can significantly reduce your healthcare outlooks. Comparatively, an optimistic frame of mind can help you heal faster. This April, National Humor Month is here to mark the importance of a good laugh: but it’s not all fun and games. The goal is to raise awareness of all the benefits that humor has for your health and state of mind.
As we slowly emerge from the fallout of a global pandemic to find a world much changed from the one we all remember, it’s no surprise that many of us are in desperate need of some fun. While seniors have weathered the pandemic with admirable resilience, there’s no question that COVID-19 has struck elders harder than any other demographic. But with summer and more vaccines on the way, it’s finally starting to feel like things are looking up. So grab your hand buzzers and boot up your favorite funny kitten video compilation. It’s time to goof off!
April Fools: Not So Foolish?
Not everything that makes you happy is necessarily good for your health, but laughter is certainly an exception. Laughter is a powerful biological force that can improve your immune system, boost your mood, prevent burnout and even reduce pain by releasing endorphins. A good laugh can relax your body, relieving muscle tension for up to 45 minutes. From an interpersonal perspective, laughter bonds people together. It also forges more robust relationships, which are essential for getting and staying healthy. Laughing improves your heart rate and oxygen intake and can even burn calories–only about 40 a day, but it’ll probably be the most enjoyable workout of your life.
One of humor’s most important benefits is its ability to reduce stress. Stress can lower your immune system and cause heart problems as a result of increased adrenaline. Many of us have felt those familiar stomach pangs when we’re on edge. Over the long term, continued stress can lead to ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome. Because continued, unrelenting pressure is so unpleasant, it can drive us to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as smoking, excess drinking, and overeating.
Happier people tend to have better health outlooks. Whether it’s from the psychological effects of a better state of mind or a cheerful outlook making it easier to maintain healthy habits, keeping a good sense of humor can keep you healthier for longer. A 2007 Harvard School of Public Health study showed that a “sense of enthusiasm, of hopefulness, of engagement in life, and the ability to face life’s stresses with emotional balance” was enough to reduce the participants’ chance of coronary heart disease across the board. With such concrete benefits to focusing on your happiness, there’s every reason to try injecting a bit more laughter into your life.
Harness Humor In Your Daily Life
When we’re going through hard times, it can be tough to see the lighter side of things. The sad irony is that the rough patches in life are when we need humor the most. Luckily there are ways to reinforce your positive thinking, so you’re able to crack a smile even when the going gets tough.
- Make laughing a deliberate part of your daily routine. Set aside time each day to watch a few funny videos on social media. Or, read a book that makes you laugh. You could also call up a friend with a good sense of humor.
- Surround yourself with things that tickle your funny bone. It’s easier to find resources for yourself when you’re already in a good mood. So, take some time to bookmark a reserve of funny podcasts or comedy sketches for later.
- Practice positive affirmations. If you constantly run into a rut of negative thinking or putting yourself down, try to replace those thoughts with kinder ones. Instead of thinking, “I’m such an idiot!” when you make a simple mistake, try to remind yourself that you’re only human and errors happen to everyone. In the long run, these minor adjustments can build up to a much healthier state of mind.
- Spend some time with friends, family, or grandchildren. It’s easier to have a chuckle when you’re around the people you love.
Know When You Need A Break
If you feel like you’re struggling under a constant sense of unhappiness and stress, it may be time to seek out professional help from a psychologist. But sometimes, the daily stresses of life can be enough to drag us down even without underlying mental health concerns. An in-home caregiver can help take on the burden of tedious daily tasks, especially as they get more complicated with age.
In addition to covering daily chores like meal preparation and cleaning, caregivers can help out with transportation to get you moving throughout your day. They also provide companionship for seniors dealing with isolation and can even help you put together a list of funny YouTube videos for those days when you need a laugh. Overall, an in-home caregiver gives you more time for yourself, so you can spend your days living life to the fullest.
About Generations Home Care
Generations Home Care personalized in-home care and support services help those recovering from illness, injury, or surgery, living with a chronic disease, or dealing with the natural process of aging. We help people live a fuller, healthier, and independent life.
Our caregivers are trained in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended COVID-19 safety precautions. We offer levels of care ranging from companionship, to respite for the primary family caregiver, to homemaking services, to assistance with activities of daily living, to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Generations Home Care takes a holistic approach and emphasizes a consistent, client-centered plan of care.
Our Specialty Services Include:
- Rehab or hospital-to-home programs for safe discharge.
- Short-term post-operative care during recovery periods.
- Non-medical life management services for people with chronic conditions.
- Veteran’s connection to care program.
- Live-in services and couples care.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 602-595-HOME (4663) or by filling out the contact form on our website.