Give Laughter a Try this Holiday Season
The old saying that “Laughter is the Best Medicine” may be very true and during the holidays it’s an important saying to remember. Laughter and a sense of humor truly can be considered lifesavers when stress sets in and seems overwhelming.
Between all the racing around, the cooking, wrapping gifts, long lines at every store it’s easy to lose patience at the grocery store, the shopping center, the mall or trying to find a decent parking spot. However, keeping a sense of humor can help and researchers have evidence that laughter and perspective can help relieve stress.
Unfortunately, the holidays are built-in stress producers and one of the biggest reasons is that many people have unrealistic expectations. The issue is that people want their holiday(s) to be perfect with the perfect gift, the perfect food, the perfect decorations and the perfect people to sit around the perfect table. Sciencedaily.com has the “perfect” suggestion. Don’t count on perfection because you’re setting yourself up for stress and oftentimes, disappointment, which can lead to a whole variety of problems including resentment, anger and depression.
If the roast or turkey is overcooked, will your family or friends be mad? Will they abandon you as a hopeless host or hostess? Not likely! If you feel too pressured, take a few moments, sit down and relax and catch your breath. This may be difficult to do, but let other people help. If Aunt Sally doesn’t mash the potatoes like you do, that’s okay. It’s not worth the stress you’ll create for yourself by having to have everything “perfect.” Think of the funny stories you can tell your friends about incidents or small accidents or misunderstandings that occur around the holiday table or tree. Some of the funniest family stories that are told and retold annually revolve around holiday “events.” Look for them…..they’re always there and laughing at them is a great stress reliever. Try not to take yourself too seriously!
Laughter not only helps relieve stress for you, it can relieve it for others as well. Laughter is a shared reaction to incidents and it’s best when it’s shared with other people because laughing really is contagious. Laughter can diffuse a difficult situation, an argument or disagreement and don’t forget to laugh at yourself occasionally. During this holiday season try to watch a funny holiday movie, one that will make you laugh and isn’t too sentimental.
If you find yourself overwhelmed and depressed during the holidays be sure to discuss the issue with your Mountains Community Hospital physician. He or she can help guide you to a better healthier life.