Why to laugh during recovery
It’s true! Laughter help in so many ways, releasing stress, helping you to relax, improving your immune system, making you stronger and less prone to illness, it also naturally reduces pain and sustains positivity! This may not come as a surprise to you but detox, treatment drug rehab and the early stages of recovery are not the most relaxing and happiest times in someone’s life. It’s common to feel not only unhappy but also sick, irritable, depressed, exhausted and guilty.
You may feel absolutely overwhelmed with craving, and it can feel like you have an infinite stretch of time in front of you. How are you supposed to laugh at a time like this? It may feel a bit of a lost cause, but it’s worth a go! Here are some pointers.
Don’t force it
The more you try and laugh, the less funny something it really is. The cognitive process that make something humorous don’t quite work under pressure – it’s just like falling asleep! We often find things funny when something shocks up with a lateral connection, you cannot force it and you certainly can’t force yourself to enjoy it. Instead just allow it to happen and create space in which it is possible. Watch comedy movies, create a time and space in which you can relax but don’t force it to happen.
Don’t feel guilty about not laughing
If you feel like you made a mess of life and hurt people close to you that you care about so you don’t deserve to have a laugh and enjoy yourself. Punishing yourself like this unfairly – even if other people don’t believe you deserve to be happy is impeding your recovery. You will then apologise to others and make amends – it’s a process that will be held back if you are beating yourself up – you need to be on your own team! Allow yourself out of your own head by an amusing conversation of a funny tv show. Allowing yourself to laugh doesn’t mean you aren’t taking your recovery seriously – in fact it’s just the opposite.
Look out for the absurd
Studies show that combat veterans withstood the stress of combat much better if they had an outlandish and dark sense of humor. You can find humor in something as dark as war, and you can too also find humor in addiction. Addiction can drive people to do some foolish and desperate actions. It may be appropriate to be ashamed and feel guilty about some of those things, but surely there must be some silly things you can laugh about too.
Spend time with those loved ones who make you laugh.
Laughing with other people is synergistic, you get benefits of laughter and also of the inherent social connection that comes with laughing together, whether with family, at drug rehab or with a total stranger! Laughing along with someone shows a common understanding, even if it is just of something funny.