Friends Laughing B&W

Using Humor to Cope with Stress

There is a famous proverb that says, “Laughter is the best medicine” and I can’t help but agree. After going through a breakup from a long-term relationship, navigating my new life path as a single woman, preparing to graduate college in the spring and dealing with all the cancellations caused by COVID-19, 2020 has already been full of stress, sadness, pain, and...laughter? That can’t be right. Well, it turns out that humor is a great way to reduce stress. According to The Mayo Clinic, laughing can “stimulate many organs, activate and relieve your stress response, soothe tension, improve your immune system, relieve pain, increase personal satisfaction and improve your mood.” Social media humor has been a way for Millennials and Gen Z to cope with their anxieties about an ever changing world. I can’t tell you the number of memes I have seen about the student debt crisis and climate change. Somehow laughing at these unfortunate events creates a bond for communities of young people. We feel like we’re not alone because at least we’re laughing with each other.

All of this stress has caused me to become something I never thought I would become: obsessed with Tik Tok. In case anyone has been living under a rock and is unfamiliar with Tik Tok, it’s essentially the love child of Vine and Music.ly. Although it’s an app mostly used to kill time, it has made me feel less alone during the last few weeks. When I see people posting about breakups, college life and COVID-19, I realize I’m not the only person who is anxious about being a young adult in 2020. It can be easy to become ruled by anxiety and fear, but learning how to laugh at problems can be a great way to keep moving forward. However, it is also important to acknowledge what is causing you stress and reflect on why you feel anxious or depressed. 

Humor is not a replacement for therapy. I highly encourage anyone struggling with their mental health to reach out to a therapist. Here is a link to an article I wrote last year about mental health resources in the Kansas City area, and if you have the budget to look into holistic therapy options, I highly recommend Embodied. Counseling & Yoga. If you feel like no one understands what you’re going through, I can guarantee that there is someone across the country or the world who is going through the same experience.