Coronavirus: Using Humour to Cope

Introduction

Even though the current situation regarding the coronavirus is important and worrying for many, we can still have a laugh, which helps to ward off anxiety and panic, and can help us to feel better. Humour is really important tool in your arsenal of coping strategies. It is classified as a mature defence mechanism, which can help us make light of a otherwise dark situation, and help us to feel better in difficult times. They say, ‘laughter is the best medicine’ for a good reason.

Here are a list of some of the benefits of laughter:

  1. Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  2. Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  3. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  4. Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
  5. Laughter burns calories. OK, so it’s no replacement for going to the gym, but one study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn approximately 40 calories—which could be enough to lose three or four pounds over the course of a year.
  6. Laughter lightens anger’s heavy load. Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment.
  7. Laughter may even help you to live longer. A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.

Source: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm

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