Stress Relief Techniques: Humor

When stressed, we become tensed and uptight automatically. Our muscles get into a spasm without us even noticing or being aware of it. Do you ever experience the familiar ache in the neck and shoulders at the end of the day? This is a result of holding our muscles tight all day long. And when this happens everyday, it accumulates, and we notice chronic pain. Also the message that goes to brain from the tense muscles is that things are stressful and the brain continues to release stress hormones.

A point to note is that our muscles can be either tense or relaxed, not both at the same time, right?

When we stretch, exercise or laugh, we release the tension and our muscles relax. Then there is a different message that goes to our brain. Our muscles send message back to the brain – we are ok, relaxed, things are fine. This helps change the brain chemistry. Our parasympathetic system gets activated and relieves stress.  So, you can consciously change your facial expression and allow your muscles to relax to change the state of your brain. Pretty cool!

Smiling intentionally, or watching a comedy or humor, can get you there. Have you heard of the laughing clubs that are springing all over the world? A group of people meet in a park, gather in a circle, and just keep laughing for a half hour. It is not only a great way to reduce your stress, but also a great exercise, making you breathe deeply and working a lot of the muscles. Some yoga studios have the laughing yoga classes too. Choose whatever can get you to laugh heartily and bring that smile on your face.

Take the control back! Instead of being a victim of your mood, take charge, and you choose your mood.

About hyma

My goal is to help you live better & love better! Dr. Hyma has been working as a clinical psychologist since 1992, for over 19 years in USA. Prior to that she has worked in India and West Indies. She also does spiritual life coaching. She has trained in psychotherapeutic modalities such as Gestalt Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Guided Imagery, Hypnosis etc. She has helped patients with depression, anxiety, panic disorders, phobias and trauma; children with ADHD and other behavioral difficulties. Her primary interests are now in stress management, mindfulness practice, mind-body medicine, and energy psychology. She conducts online and in-person seminars and retreats to groups of individuals to learn these skills to master their life situations. Her CDs to help with relaxation, sleep and stress management have been very popular and helpful. She makes customized CDs for clients dealing with various emotional issues.
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3 Responses to Stress Relief Techniques: Humor

  1. Susan Martin says:

    Hi Hyma. It was good to see you last night (Wed.) at the med center. I loved your guided imagery and felt myself melt into the chair, becoming part of it. I want to know more of what you are up to, where you teach meditation, are you doing therapy or strictly life coaching, and When are you at the Yoga Studio? With the condition of the economy here and nearly everywhere, what you are teaching is so important. Thank you for all that you do. Susie Martin, MFT at SJBHC partial-program, 938-0831, X31.

    • hyma says:

      Dear Susie,
      I am so glad you came, but I missed seeing you.
      I wish you had come and said hello to me.
      I am primarily doing life coaching and very limited therapy when clients are particularly interested in working with me only.
      I am very interested in teaching stress management to groups of people at this time as I can reach and help more people that way. I am doing both free and paid classes.
      Currently, we have meditation classes for free on Thursdays from 6-7 pm for the next 8 weeks (May 26 to July 15th) at the St.Joseph’s Medical Center – Cancer center classroom. People can just show up.
      I am doing the “Love Yourself” program at the Bikram Yoga, Stockton studio on Miracle Mile from 7.30 to 8.30 pm on Sundays for a fee of $20.

      You have rightly said that this is a time when people need to raise their emotional strength than ever before. I am doing a lot of other ad hoc free and for fee trainings and classes at different organizations, schools and churches etc. I am totally open to any requests or suggestions from you.
      Wishing you the very best,
      love & light,

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