Let’s face it, life with tinnitus can be hard. For me, laughter and humour are essential ingredients for coping with life as a tinnitus warrior.
I follow a fellow tinnitus warrior on Instagram – instagram.com/tinnitus_mythbusting whose posts can usually be relied on to make me smile.
Research has shown that having a giggle strengthens your immune system, boosts your mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the effects of stress:
- Laughter cancels difficult emotions. I challenge you to feel angry, anxious or frustrated about your tinnitus while you’re having a giggle!
- Laughter improves relaxation. It reduces the stress and anxiety that we know makes our tinnitus worse.
- Laughter changes our perspective. Having a laugh can be exactly the nudge we need to make us look at our challenges from a different angle.
- Laughter creates connection. It can be pretty lonely living with a condition no-one else can see or hear. We know from the recent pandemic how much isolation and loneliness can impact our mental health. Even if we’re just laughing at a silly meme or social media post, we can see from the comments that we are part of a group of people all sharing the same sense of humour. We are not alone.
My dog walk through the local park this morning reminded me how often we laugh as children, and how rarely we do as adults. This is Not Good. We need to be intentional about finding things to smile about.
It doesn’t have to mean watching comedy programs. After a day of buzzing in our head we might not be up for all that noise. But there are gentler and less intrusive ways of getting our fix of smiles for the day.
Here are five easy and intentional ways to get your fix of humour each day:
- Google some images that make you smile. Save them as your screensaver for your tablet or phone. Print them out and put them around your home or workspace.
- Follow some comedy or funny accounts on social media. Mark them as favourites to make sure you get to see them in your social media feed.
- When you have a break from work, or are having a cuppa, don’t scroll through the usual doom and gloom. Choose a different news site: Squirrel News
- Watch your favourite funny clips on YouTube. The start of Four Weddings and a Funeral is guaranteed to make me cry with laughter even though I have seen it a billion times: youtube – Four Weddings (caution, contains swearing!)
- Share jokes with colleagues and friends to get them smiling too (if colleagues, please make sure they are not going to be offended. I don’t want you to be fired!)