Humor, Laughter, and Mental Health

Laughter is such an essential piece of the human experience, few things in our world are as universal to who we are as people. The power of laughter heals us and brings us closer together. There’s a reason comedy is such a popular form of entertainment and has stood the test of time. It even goes beyond humanity, as laugher has even been observed in several species of primates.

It’s hard to define what should be funny. For example, I picked the featured image for this post purely because I couldn’t stop laughing when I found it on Pexels but I couldn’t tell you why. It’s just a funny image to me, and I’m sure at least one other person would agree. Humor can be very subjective, yet at the same time it’s so hard to explain, and I find that fascinating

It’s no surprise then that while mental illness is no laughing matter (yup, I’m cringing at that one too), humor can help to bring calm to anxiety, and uplift depression. But it can be hard to find the desire to laugh when you’re just not feeling it. Sometimes you just can’t laugh, and that’s ok. It makes laughing when you can all the more important.

I don’t watch a lot of TV, but sometimes I indulge myself. If I’m not watching Star Trek or some nerdy Netflix original series then chances are I’m watching a comedy. It just makes me feel better, it relaxes me, I forget about my anxieties and worries for a little while and just let myself laugh. I like to say that if I didn’t have my sense of humor I wouldn’t have made it this far, and that’s the truth. The ability to find the ability to laugh, even in some of my darkest moments, has quite literally saved my life.

I haven’t given you guys homework in a little while, but I have some for you today. I want you to find something funny you can turn to when you’re having a bad time. Something you find so funny it will make you laugh no matter what. It can be anything at all, as long as you find it absolutely hilarious. Save it, and come back to it next time you’re feeling down or anxious. It might not make everything better, but it will put your mind at ease even if only for a little while.

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