Stress Management

Laughter is the Best Medicine

This one’s a no-brainer. Or rather a boost-brainer. Who doesn’t love to laugh? e.e. cummings said it best: “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” Laughter relieves stress, releases oxytocin into the bloodstream, and generally makes life better. Also, it’s fun.

Your assignment today is to find either a comic movie or a stand-up routine and watch it. Airplane is a classic, as is Animal House. Judd Apatow movies make nearly everyone laugh, and Nora Ephron’s comedies are heartwarming. Netflix has a whole section devoted to comedies and comics. The Aristocrats is a documentary about the one joke all comics agree is the funniest joke ever told. Old “I Love Lucy” episodes have been known to make people crack up, and new comics, such as John Mulaney, are equally hysterical.

These are just a few suggestions. You may have your go-to funny guy or gal, and that’s fine. Just find something funny to watch today, and enjoy the stress-relieving results. Better yet, share laughter with a friend? That way you’ll both get the stress-relieving benefits and the socialization benefits in one fell swoop.


  • Hulse, J. R. (1994). Humor: A nursing intervention for the elderly: Used appropriately, humor can aid in education, reduce stress, and relieve the depersonalization many elderly people feel. Geriatric Nursing, 15(2), 88–90. doi:

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