Welcome to my new series, “Tips for Caregivers, Near and Far.”
January 14, 2018
Tip #6 – Humor is Your Friend: Make it a Point to Laugh Daily
Caregivers have been found to have statistically higher rates of depression, anxiety, and illness than the general population. These issues are not unrelated. Causal links are know to exist between depression/anxiety and physical illness. Depression and anxiety have both been found to result in an increased risk of hypertension, high cholesterol (as well as other risk factors associated with heart attacks and stroke), lowered immune functioning, migraine headaches, ulcers, lowered libido, asthma, onset of diabetes, osteoporosis, and exacerbation of conditions, such as cancer, arthritis, chronic pain, and diabetes.
Humor is one of the most powerful ways of interfering with stress of caregiving before it creates the downward spiral of energy-zapping thoughts that lead to depression and anxiety. Laughter creates positive emotions, such as joy, amusement, hope, confidence, and overall wellbeing, even in the face of a very real stressful situation, helping us to be more resilient to the stress. In addition, laughter actually directly affects our body and helps to prevent the decline into disease. In the short term, laughter stabilizes blood pressure, massages inner organs, stimulates circulation, helps improve digestion, increases the supply of oxygen to the muscles, and decreases muscle tension. In the longer term, laughter boosts the power of the immune system, by reducing damaging stress hormones.
Some of the added bonuses of laughter include: enhancing creativity, deepening relationships (sharing laughter with your loved one can improve communication and bring joy into the relationshp), and reducing physical pain by releasing endorphins in our brain.
Humor has the unique power to brighten even the darkest situation. So, make it a point to laugh every day, by:
– Laughing at yourself, rather than criticizing yourself for any mistakes you might have made.
– Looking for the comic absurdity of a difficult situation.
– Watching a funny movie.
– Reading a funny book.
– Sharing a funny story with your loved one.
For more discussion about Caregiving, tune into today’s internet radio program:
For more of my blogs, check out ThriveGlobal.com.
Stay tuned for more tips and my upcoming blog with stories of my own personal experiences related to some of these tips!! Check out all of my blogs, read about my internet consulting service, and check out my internet radio program with expert guests, right here on my website. And keep your eyes open for news right here and HERE about my new book, The Passionate Life: Creating Vitality & Joy at Every Age, coming to your favorite booksellers THIS year!!