Although you probably won’t see it written on any prescription, humor has numerous benefits for our physical and mental health. According to caregiver expert and author Sherri Snelling, multiple scientific studies have proven the benefits of humor and laughter since the late 70s, when laughter was first recognized as a legitimate form of self-healing. Key benefits include:
- Reductions of Stress – Humor decreases stress and better enables us to cope with challenging situations. Subsequently, reducing stress has remarkable benefits of its own, including less inflammation (and fewer stomach pains, acid reflux, etc.), increased elasticity in blood vessels and higher levels of oxygen in the blood.
- Cardio Exercise – One study shows that laughing for 20 seconds is just as beneficial to our lungs as three minutes on a rowing machine.
- Immune System Support – Laughter can actually keep us from falling ill! Laughing produces and activates strong antibodies that attack viruses and tumors in the body. When we undergo long periods of stress, the production of these antibodies decreases.
- Decreased Pain – Many patients with long-term or terminal illnesses report that humor works as a welcomed distraction from chronic pain. Laughter can also help our minds and bodies relax so that we can cope with physical pain more easily.
Embrace humorous situations whenever they happen, and try to add moments of humor to your caregiving routine to lighten your loved one’s mood. Here are a few suggestions to try:
- Search for funny stories. Subscribe to a joke-of-the-day email list or buy a day- calendar with funny comic strips. Magazines like Reader’s Digest also have sections dedicated to funny stories submitted by readers.
- Watch funny movies together. Marx Brothers and Charlie Chaplin films are great sources of laughter for a lover of the classics. Or, maybe your loved one prefers more modern comedies. Find movies or sitcoms that they enjoy and schedule a regular time to watch them together.
- Get online. YouTube may be the largest source of funny videos available. You can search for anything from episodes of I Love Lucy to silly animal videos to watch together.
- Spend time with funny friends. Do you know someone with a great sense of humor? Invite them over for lunch with you and your loved one. Spend time chatting together, and a funny story is sure to emerge.
If you are struggling to find relief from caregiver stress and anxiety, try to embrace more humorous moments during your day. It’s okay to laugh. Sometimes your loved one’s condition may seem so overwhelming that you think it’s not right to enjoy life or take the time to escape. But when you and your loved one laugh together, you’re allowing both of you to enjoy life to its fullest.
The Art of Living
At Tuscan Gardens® of Venetia Bay, we’ve mastered the art of living. We’ve perfected the balance of personalized support and an uplifting lifestyle, helping our residents experience independence, joy, and meaning every day.
Offering supportive independent living, assisted living and memory care services for families in Venice, Florida, Tuscan Gardens of Venetia Bay was founded with one simple, yet profound goal – to create a community worthy of our parents. In all we do, we are guided by the principles of family, culture, and engagement, working to represent the remarkable way of life our families deserve.
The essence of our community is made up not only of mere aesthetics but an artfully designed lifestyle to bring out the best of what each day has to offer. From dedicated care that respects residents’ individuality and dignity to a lifestyle that nurtures their love of life, Tuscan Gardens was built to be more than just a residence, but a place to call home.
To learn more about our comfortable, elegant community, contact us today!