Halloween seems like the perfect time to put away stress and embrace some fun. You can pretend to be someone else (or something else) for a day. A little bit of fun can go a long way, which brings me to my next point. Laughter is one of the best weapons against stress. I know motherhood can get stressful and it’s easy to lose your way and your humor amidst all the chores, demands, and responsibilities therein (I wrote the book on that!), but….but…but, as they say, “Laugthter is the best medicine.” When keeping (and practicing) your sense of humor, you’ll see that life is better, your kids will like being with you more, and you’re more likely to experience better health. Laughing improves your immune system, reduces stress, and can even help you cope better with pain. So, if you find that you’re laughing less, struggling more, and not feeling as good as you’d like to feel, I suggest that you practice your humor with these few tips.
Smile more. I think the more you smile, the more likely it’ll be for you to laugh. Watching your children play can make you smile. Finishing an important task can make you smile. Going through a scrapbook is always a joyful experience. Look around; I know you will see things to smile about. Look for the simple pleasures like a gentle touch between you and a loved one. By smiling, you send a “word” out to the world that you have not been overcome by stress, and eventually you will believe this yourself. It’s a good starting point to finding your way back to feeling good on a regular basis. If you can’t seem to smile at the dozens of things worth smiling at, you may need a slightly different starting point. Call me.
Think about things in your past that made you laugh out loud. I can think of quite a few things from my past. It was either things my husband or kids said to me, a funny clip from a movie, an inside joke between me and my best friend, or an embarrassing moment I had. I can sit here right now and start laughing. It’s amazing how thinking about it can bring it right back. If this is a little harder for you, definitely look into a movie or show that can’t fail to draw a laugh. Even in my worst of moods, I can put on that show called Ridiculousness and laugh (despite myself). The videos are very funny and the host is quite entertaining. The combination of the two makes this show work for me. I don’t care what anyone thinks of me for watching this. I need the laugh.
Turn a frustrating moment into a humorous one. Yes, I know this is going to be hard, but try it. I can’t tell you how many times I’d get frustrated at something (e.g., not being able to open the jar of tomato sauce I need for dinner, stepping in the “accident” my dog left in the family room) but eventually being able to laugh at myself because my kids were making fun of me. First I’d snap in anger, and in that moment very uninterested in laughing at myself. But then, I would see myself as my kids were seeing me, and inevitably, I’d start laughing. So, in your moments of frustration and anger, try to see yourself as others might be seeing you (if they have a good sense of humor, and are not afraid of you). Let your kids show you the humor. Be receptive to the funny side of stressful moments. They can be found.
Ask someone you know to make you laugh. Think about the people in your life who may not be as stressed out as you, and ask them if they’ve heard anything funny lately. You’d be amazed at what they have to offer. Or, go to someone you know who has a great sense of humor and spend some time with him or her. You can admit to not finding humor lately, or the fact that you’ve been stressed out or not feeling like yourself. I can almost bet you that eventually, with this person, you will be laughing at something. By laughing, you change your brain’s chemistry. By laughing, you shift your mood…and by shifting your mood, you shift everyone else’s mood.Before you know it, the whole day seems a lot better.