‘Tis The Season For Stress-Filled Laughter
Did you know that this year Santa’s sleigh will fly with one less reindeer? Comet has to stay home to clean the sink.
Did you at least smile with that joke? I hope so and if you did, congratulations because you just released a LOT of stress with one little smile or laugh.
Stress affects everyone. For many people, this time of year means spending time in complex social interactions such as family and relative gatherings and often uncomfortable work-related parties. For many around the world it is a time of trying to at leastmatch expectations, the pressure to create a ‘wonderful Christmas’ with presents and one of the most important meals of the year. To some it feels like the holy-days-of-obligation to be someone we are not and be somewhere we prefer to avoid. The stress of the holidays also includes those on-going stresses of the rest of the year from relationship issues, health situations, money, diet, employment, and bills and, honestly, if I keep listing them I might start feeling the stress as well!
Dealing with the stress is the key to overcoming the adverse effects of it but HOW we deal with it is critical. Who has time right now to learn a new skill, right? Our natural response is to put off learning a new skill, such as a new relaxation method, for another day. We feel we could manage it better if we put it off and wait for the next crisis to happen. The truth is – time is of the essence – and putting it off only compounds our stress.
The key is to balance your stress and your periods of relaxation and wellness. You KNOW you are going to have stressful moments but we don’t typically see them coming until we are in the midst of the moment. We must plan our wellness periods so that we have ammunition to combat the stressful moments. It’s about optimizing experiences to gain the best potential from each one. We need to listen to our bodies and our minds because they will tell us, often yelling it loudly, that we need to calm down.
Laugh. It’s a quick moment in time that can have some amazing stress-releasing benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, a quick moment of laughter stimulates many of your internal organs by increasing oxygen intake which in turn increased endorphins that are released by the brain. It also increased your heart rate and blood pressure momentarily which can induce a good, relaxed feeling. Finally, it soothes tension because it stimulates circulation and aids in muscle relaxation, both of which reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
Take a few moments today to laugh – crack a smile – and take a proactive stance in favor of your own well-being.
Did you know that according to the song, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, Santa has twelve reindeer? Sure, in the introduction it goes “There’s Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen…” That makes eight reindeer.
Then there’s Rudolph, of course, so that makes nine.
Then there’s Olive. “Olive the other reindeer used to laugh…” That makes ten.
The eleventh is Howe. “Then Howe the reindeer loved him…”
The 12thone is Andy! “Andy shouted out with glee.” The proof is in the song!
May you intentionally seek out moments to laugh and smile, taking part in your own wellness plan. Stress will happen this time of year – how we react to that stress is critical to our success. Be kind to yourself and don’t allow the stressful factors to win.