Stress is an unhelpful negative emotion and both men and women are victim of it. Humour is known to improve mental and physical well being. The aim of the assignment is to discuss the effect of humour on stress in men and women.
Humour help people adapt to stress. Centuries ago Freud pointed out that humour can be used to cope with the stress in life and considered a healthy method. In the book, “Adaptation to Life” by George Valliant humour was found to be effective coping mechanism for professional men under stress. It was evident from several in-depth interviews conducted, for professional men under stress. In the book Pathfinders, Gail shetty reported that humour has positive effect on both men and women in stress. As per the Canadian study, people who can actively access the humour in middle of stress have increased mental resilience. This skill makes a person emotionally flexible as humour distracts them from chain of turbulent thoughts. It improves the mental wellbeing (Chang Tsai & Hsieh, 2013).
Psychological studies with cancer patients showed that the humour and laughter push them to create joy in life. In the study with cancer survivors, both male and female participants narrated stories of humour and describe it as useful strategy to deal with stress. During the period of diagnosis and treatment of life threatening illness, humour helped the cancer patients to regain their identity (Roaldsen et al., 2015). Kim et al. (2015) examined the effect of the therapeutic laugher session on breast cancer patients. As per the results only a single session was effective in reducing stress, depression and anxiety in women caused by breast cancer. The results recommend humour and laugher session as the first line alternative complementary therapy for the breast cancer patients. The patients reported that they could have two hours of pain free sleep due to ten minutes of humour. Humour worked like anaesthesia and relieved physical tension (Nurseslearning.com, 2017).
It was evident after more than one session of humour and laughter that the perception of stress changed to positive one. In similar other studies the effect of humour and laughter was evaluated. People in laughter group gained optimistic attitude due to humour and showed less stress. The effect of humour therapy using randomised control trial in two consecutive three months period was evaluated. Humour was found to have many beneficial effects on the Cortisol level in paediatric patients. Patients both men and women, after this intervention focused more on themselves than on others that helped relive stress (Sánchez et al., 2017).
Humour stimulates many organs in the body such as lungs, muscles, heart and others. It can increase the heart rate and blood pressure. As humour cools down the stress response during distress, it gives the relaxed feeling and soothes tension. Humour helps in stimulating the circulation and muscle relaxation and thus reduces the physical symptoms of stress may it be related to illness, profession, or personal life circumstances (Chang Tsai & Hsieh, 2013).
In conclusion humour has beneficial effect on stress in both men and women. Such intervention is recommended for everyone to cope up with stress.
Chang, C., Tsai, G., & Hsieh, C. J. (2013). Psychological, immunological and physiological effects of a Laughing Qigong Program (LQP) on adolescents. Complementary therapies in medicine, 21(6), 660-668.
Kim, S. H., Kim, Y. H., & Kim, H. J. (2015). Laughter and stress relief in cancer patients: a pilot study. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2015.
Nurseslearning.com (2017). Humor and Mental Health: Using Humor to Cope With Stress (Part of Humor and Health Online CEU Course). [online] Nurseslearning.com. Available at: https://www.nurseslearning.com/courses/nrp/nrpcx-w0009/html/body.humor.page7.htm [Accessed 31 Oct. 2017].
Roaldsen, B. L., Sørlie, T., & Lorem, G. F. (2015). Cancer survivors’ experiences of humour while navigating through challenging landscapes–a socio?narrative approach. Scandinavian journal of caring sciences, 29(4), 724-733.
Sánchez, J. C., Echeverri, L. F., Londoño, M. J., Ochoa, S. A., Quiroz, A. F., Romero, C. R., & Ruiz, J. O. (2017). Effects of a Humor Therapy Program on Stress Levels in Pediatric Inpatients. Hospital pediatrics, 7(1), 46-53.