The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Laughter can ease stress, nurse says

By Rylie Parkins/reporter

Stress is the body’s natural reaction to tension, pressure and change.

While stress is inevitable, there are a variety of ways to reduce stress by incorporating laughter into everyday life.

The Women in New Roles program, in collaboration with health services, sponsored a seminar called Laughing Your Way Through Stress last week.

Flo Stanton, South Campus nurse and coordinator of health services, presented the seminar to a full house Nov. 7 on South Campus.

“Life is a series of changes. Stress is inescapable,” she said at the beginning of the seminar.

Stanton explained what stress is, what effects it has on people physically and mentally and how to manage stress through laughter.

Stanton said stress can produce several physical effects if it is left unmanaged.

Stress can cause cancer, hypertension, diabetes, heart attacks and even strokes.

The best ways to help manage stress, Stanton said, are to learn coping skills, change unhealthy eating habits and improve work environments and the other circumstances in which children are brought up.

It is also critical to have a strong support system, such as a close friend, neighbor or family member.
In the seminar, Stanton offered several ways to cope with stress: 81 ways, specifically.

Some of the tips to alleviate stress included learning to say “no” more often, looking at problems as challenges, stopping a bad habit, doing everything in moderation and striving for excellence instead of perfection.

Stanton said laughter also provides benefits in stressful situations.

“Laughter braces the spirit; it gives us hope,” she said.

Laughter, Stanton said, is a natural pain reliever because of its ability to increase endorphins.

Laughter is also a tension reducer, enabling muscles to relax, which is why many people “fall off their chairs laughing” or “pee their pants laughing,” she said.

Laughter has been known to strengthen the immune system by increasing the production of T-cells and natural killer cells.

After the seminar, students, including Chanel Phillips, South Campus, had positive comments about Stanton’s seminar.

“I liked how [Stanton] was open and honest about how she almost didn’t laugh her way through a stressful situation,” she said.

For additional information about incorporating laughter into stressful situations, contact Stanton at 817-515-4531 or

Make collections of things that inspire laughter.
• Make a “First Aid Laughter Kit.” Ideas for the kit might include funny sayings, a comedy record, funny pictures, jokes, riddles or silly toys.

Laugh with objectivity and acceptance.
• When stressed out, take a brief humor daydream or mental health trip. Try to think of an experience that is humorous now.

Increase playfulness and creativity in life. Adopt an attitude of playfulness.
• Start a humor phone chain. Call the first person on the list and pass along the “connecting” joke or humorous quote. That person, in turn will call the second person on the list and pass along a “joke for the day.”

Make others laugh.
• Occasionally sprinkle correspondence with humor.

— Flo Stanton

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