The current election cycle aside, most of us do not find enough to laugh at throughout the day. Laughter decreases stress, increases endorphins and has a positive effect on our organs and immune system. Humor can serve as a defense mechanism to deflect tension, deal with disappointment, and distract us in moments of despair.

Of course there are times when we must face certain circumstances with courage and sincerity, but we are not talking about those times. We are talking about finding the comedy in the chaos of our lives and using humor to shift into a more productive perspective.

The term humor comes from the humoral medicine practiced by the ancient Greeks who thought that the human body was made up of four fluids/humors (blood, phlegm, yellow & black bile), the balance of which made up our temperament and thus influenced our health. Although medical science no longer abides by this theory, few can deny that there is a relationship between one’s psychological disposition, emotional fulfillment and physical well-being.

Sometimes humor comes to us, such as in the form of a movie, joke or video of a baboon sneezing that has gone viral. But often, we need to look for the funny and take a little initiative and responsibility for our mood. Below is a silly acrostic to help bring out your lighthearted, playful and good humored nature.

Have Fun – Identify and schedule activities that bring you joy, excitement or relaxation.

Unexpect the Expected – Set goals but don’t get too attached to the results. “We plan, God Laughs.”

Manage Stress – Get enough sleep, breath deeply and delegate some chores.

Organize Friends – Don’t wait for a special occasion to get friends together. Host a game night, invite people out on the town or coordinate a picnic.

Replace Judgment with Curiosity – Don’t think, “That person is such an idiot.” Say to yourself, “Hmmm, I wonder what makes that person such an idiot.”

“If you’re going to be able to look back on something and laugh about it, you might as well laugh about it now.” – Marie Osmond

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