Humor and Relaxation by Guest Blogger, Sarah Jones

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August 15 is National Relaxation Day…but you can relax any day of the year

The Psychology of Relaxation and How It Relates to Humor
By Guest Blogger, Sarah Jones

Relaxation is a state that many of us seek throughout the day. Stress in our lives tends to build quickly, and relaxation is replaced by anxious thoughts, tension, and a negative mindset. There are many different ways to achieve relaxation, but did you know laughter is one of them? Laughing releases endorphins which give us that happy feeling. If you want to relax today, listen to a funny joke, watch a funny video or converse with people you enjoy.

The Psychology of Relaxation
Relaxation is an “emotional state” where anger, worries, and fears are irrelevant and do not exist. When we are calm, and at ease, we have less tension, our heart rates are stable, and we do not feel anxious. All these negative factors are stress stimulators, but when we are relaxed, we do not feel these negative contributors. Relaxation promotes a happy frame of mind in an almost sedative like state. It is beneficial to our health both mentally and physically.

Laughter Shows Results
Studies have shown that laughter has some amazing benefits to our health. Laughing produces enjoyment and releases endorphins and other neurotransmitter elements (so-called feel-good or pleasure chemicals), that cause us to feel calm, happy, and relaxed. Laughter also helps maintain healthy, positive relationships with people in our lives as it helps us connect and enjoy one another’s company. It also helps with communication skills and can even reduce the feelings of pain or irritation. Laughter usually occurs in a setting where people feel united, calm, and comfortable. Genuine laughter is a key to relaxation, and the two complement each other.

To Relax You Need To…
Humor and laughter aren’t a cure-all, but they are impressive forces in promoting relaxation. In order to seek relaxation, you must laugh! Humor and laughter have some immediate, short-term benefits that affect your mind and body. When you laugh, your oxygen intake increases which help stimulate your organs. It also decreases your stress levels and leaves you calmer and happier. Along with feeling great, your heart rate will drop after laughing which also helps keep your blood pressure down. Laughing and enjoying some humorous people or things can also relieve tension which is one of the effects of stress.

Keep on Laughing
Besides the immediate short-term effects, laughter helps us achieve relaxation and remove stress. This can have substantial benefits on both our mindsets and bodies over long-term periods. Humor can change our mindset to one that is more positive. Negativity creates chemical imbalances and can affect our health. Humor increases relaxation and also boosts positivity which, in turn, can strengthen our immune system through the release of neuropeptides. Humor also helps us relax by connecting with other people. Positive social interactions decrease stress, improve relaxation, and makes us happier beings.

Keep It Real
Genuine laughter and having a good sense of humor are some of the best ways to achieve relaxation. However, some forms of humor and laughing won’t have the same effects as genuine laughter will. Humor that is enjoyed at the expense of other people won’t achieve the same effects, and neither will “fake” laughing. This type of action is done when you attempt to find something funny that really isn’t amusing to you, and it is usually done to seek other’s approval. Be true to yourself and your sense of humor.

The psychology of relaxation is one in which people enjoy themselves. Humor is one of the best ways to accomplish relaxation. It is a universal way to connect with others, relieve stress, and to feel happier and calmer. Take time to enjoy your humor as well as other’s because it really is one of the best medicines out there.

Bio: Sarah writes about relaxation techniques on Relax Everyday. After experiencing a balanced life herself, she now wants to share the information she learned to help others become more at peace and at ease. 
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I am pleased to continue the practice of inviting guest bloggers who show an interest in laughter, humor, and well-being.

Humor & laughter are essential parts human nature. Embracing those natural abilities will improve the likelihood that you will enjoy the best of everything as you go forward. Learn how to add these tools to your best-of-living toolbox. Learn how one becomes a laughter therapist or laughter coach. Take classes –approved by several professions for continuing education– or find resource materials at our website. Join us!

Steve Wilson