While the goal is to prevent stress before it overtakes you, sometimes it sneaks up on you like a sarcastic answer to a stupid question. So what do you do when you’re in the middle of a cortisol takeover?
There are numerous ways of lowering a stress-induced onslaught, but probably the most effective is the power of humor. Laughing not only is the best way to reduce stress, but also to increase your grit (stick-to-it-ness). If you can laugh, you can endure just about anything. So increase the humor in your life. A smile please?
1. Allow yourself to laugh. When you’re stressed, you don’t permit yourself the luxury to see and hear humor, even when it’s staring you in the eye. When you read that the military special ops teams use humor to keep them from getting wigged out, whatever you’re doing doesn’t even come close. Let loose and chuckle.
2. Look for what is humorous. Walk through your office and look at everyone hunkered down, focused and…STRESSED. You’d think they were about the business of curing cancer or preventing nuclear war. Laughing requires you to veer from intense, focused attention, giving your mind a chance to get a grip. When you return to the task at hand, you are better prepared to engage it with renewed energy and perspective.
In the end, stress is simply a red light on your dashboard. When it blinks, it is a reminder that it’s time to laugh. And if you think this message wasn’t worth reading, it is probably an indication that you need to read it again. And smile this time.
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