HEALING WITH HUMOR
Once upon a time, there were some badass veterans who knew that life as a veteran can be pretty damn heavy. The weight of their experiences, both good and bad, could feel like a ton of bricks on their shoulders. But these veterans were smart, and they knew how to combat stress and lift their spirits – with the power of laughter!
Yep, that’s right, folks – laughter is scientifically proven to reduce stress and improve mood. According to the Mayo Clinic, when we laugh, we enhance our intake of oxygen, stimulate our heart, lungs, and muscles, and increase the production of endorphins. And let’s be real, who doesn’t love a good endorphin boost?
But the benefits of laughter don’t stop at our physical health; it can also have a powerful impact on our mental and emotional wellbeing. When we laugh, we release tension and anxiety, and shift our focus away from negative thoughts and feelings. This can help us gain perspective, connect with others, and approach challenges with a more positive mindset.
And the veterans at Irreverent Warriors know this better than anyone. Their Silkies Hikes and other events are infused with humor and camaraderie, providing a space for veterans to connect, share stories, and find joy in each other’s company. These guys and gals know how to have a good time!
But even if you’re not a veteran, you can still experience the benefits of laughter in your daily life. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Watch a comedy movie or TV show (or binge-watch your favorite comedy series).
- Listen to a comedy podcast (we recommend “My Dad Wrote a Porno”).
- Read a funny book (anything by David Sedaris will do the trick).
- Spend time with people who make you laugh (or hang out with that one friend who tells the best dad jokes).
- Find humor in everyday situations (like when you spill coffee on your shirt and just have to laugh it off).
- Play with a pet (because who doesn’t love a good game of fetch with Fido?).
- Take a dance class (even if you have two left feet, it’ll be hilarious).
- Go to a comedy club (just make sure to bring some tissues for all the tears of laughter).
- Try a new hobby that brings you joy (like painting, gardening, or knitting).
- Practice telling jokes or sharing funny stories (you never know when you’ll need to impress a group of strangers with your comedic chops).
- Play a board game or card game with friends (just don’t be a sore loser).
- Attend a laughter yoga class (because sometimes, you just need to laugh for no reason).
- Try a new food or restaurant and laugh at your reactions (like when you try sushi for the first time and can’t figure out how to use chopsticks).
- Keep a gratitude journal and find humor in the small things (like when your kid draws a picture of you with a giant head and stick-figure legs).
So, take it from these badass veterans – laughter is not just a luxury or a frivolous indulgence; it’s an important tool for maintaining our mental, emotional, and physical health. So go ahead, laugh it up! Your body, mind, and soul will thank you for it.