Humor, laughter and smiling one of the greatest weapons of the chronically ill.
Humor: "In one review on humor in medicine, the most promising results with the use of humor is patients’ response to pain. In studies that evaluated patients’ pain after their exposure to comedy videotapes, the videos improved pain tolerance and reduced the need for pain medications. Similarly, patients’ exposure to humorous videos increased salivary IgA levels, a measure of immune function. Humor may also have positive effects on heart disease, diabetes, blood flow, and depressive symptoms."The Network
Those of us with chronic illnesses we have our chronic illness humor don't we? And I love all that. We should be able to joke about the nuances of our illness... it relieves some of that tension. I love them. Love to share them. Helps us relate to each other else as well. All humor is important in our lives. But 'sick' humor has a place as well. It is not all doom and gloom... and a billion inspiration quotes. I joke about my illness all the time. It makes it less stressful to me and to my spouse. Makes it easier on others. But sick humor amongst ourselves are the things we get and can laugh about because we all 'get it'.
Laughter: Laughter itself is to be encouraged at all times. I have used humor as a coping mechanism and a facade in the workplace. I liked to make others laugh and smile so I could laugh and smile. By joking around I could boost my mood and mask my pain better as well. I like also to seek hour humor. I enjoy laughing. I enjoy being goofy. I enjoy watching shows that will make me laugh. Books that will make me laugh. People that will make me laugh. I always say it is a mood enhancer. If you don't focus on the pain and use laughter it gives the brain the happy drugs it wants which boosts the mood, despite the pain. So I seek it out and create it when I can. This is only possible in the mid-range of my pain. The higher ranges I have more problems, but with my spouse I will still have our little jokes.
Stress relief from laughter mayoclinic.comA good sense of humor can't cure all ailments, but data are mounting about the positive things laughter can do.
A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn't just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:
- Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
- Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
- Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
Laughter isn't just a quick pick-me-up, though. It's also good for you over the long haul. Laughter may:
- Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
- Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. Laughter may also break the pain-spasm cycle common to some muscle disorders.
- Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.
- Improve your mood. Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and make you feel happier.