08 Apr 2014

A Cure for Combating April 15th Stress

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The first half of April is notorious for its creeping stress of the impending “Ides of April” deadline – when Federal taxes are due. What can you do? It might be even more stressful if you’ve needed to hand over the care of your finances while at Rockaway Care Center because it’s imperative you feel confident your taxes will be filed correctly. Thankfully, there is relief at the end of the tax tunnel.

No, we’re not talking about a highly-competent CPA, a robust personal filing system, or a computer tax estimate program which shows you’re getting back a few thousand this year. This type of relief is different. In fact, it is one of the best forms of stress relief known to humanity.

We’re talking about humor.  As in laughter.  As in belly-guffawing chuckles.  That’s right, cachinnatory . (Thought I caught you off guard there – that’s just a word for “loud laugh inducing”.)

With the impending April 15th deadline, it’s no wonder that Larry Wilde, comedian and best-selling author and Director of The Carmel Institute of Humor, declared April to be National Humor Month back in 1976. Now, thirty-eight years later, the idea is still going strong, even if your average Joe is completely unaware about the dedicated month.

Humor is central to living life to its fullest. As examples, here are ways in which humor is a helpful, if not essential, piece to life.

  1. Humor cures sickness quicker. Case in point: Hospital clowns. Statistically proven to increase immunity, regulate blood sugar and blood pressure levels, boost organ function, and decrease pain, it’s no wonder people say that “laughter is the best medicine.”
  2. Humor is used to socially connect with others. Case in point: Opening with a joke. Whether a graduation speech, an interview, or meeting the potential inlaws for the first time, people relax when humor is used to break the ice. Things just flow easier after a laugh.
  3. Humor decreases stress, and opens up venues for coping. Case in point: You return home from a hard day at work, telling your spouse about what so-and-so said and did which made you ultra-annoyed. Your spouse lets you finish speaking, and then, pausing with just the right timing, comments with a joke. Laughing, you now feel you have the perspective to handle the situation.

So when preparing your taxes, or taking on any other potentially stressful project, keep in mind a humorous take, or pepper your work on the project with a break to watch the Comedy Channel or read some comics.  Most importantly, be in tune with how you might tickle someone with your words. While at Rockaway Care Center, watch out for your fellow residents, as well as staff members to see if anyone looks stressed out – perhaps you can try to assist them by finding out what might make them laugh. If so, you’ll be doing them a huge service, and you’ll be happier yourself with the laughter you’ve induced.


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