One form of therapy that many people find to be effective is called humor therapy. Humor therapy is when the therapist helps you unlock that laughter that is within you. The goal is to temporarily increase your mood and reduce your stress levels during and right after the therapy and equip you with tools to reproduce these effects on your own. Here are some tips for continuing your humor therapy at home.
1. Have a List of Stories That Make You Laugh
If you have ever attended a group humor therapy session, the chances are good that you have been asked to share a funny memory with the group. This is an extremely helpful exercise because it allows people to hear a large range of stories, which in turn allows them to remember other funny moments that they have been a part of. You have also likely been asked to do this by your therapist if you are participating in individual humor therapy sessions but have had a difficult time remembering more than a few incidents.
In order to continue your humor therapy training at home, you are going to need several stories from your past that make you laugh. These are not all going to come to you at once. Instead, keep a file on your smartphone or purchase a notebook that you carry with you throughout the day in order to jot down funny stories that you might remember or have just experienced. Write them out in full detail when you get home and use them to make yourself laugh whenever you are feeling stressed.
2. Figure Out What Your Real Laugh Sounds Like
Laughter is harder to fake than most people realize and it is very easy to tell when your laughter is not real. You are going to need to make sure that you know exactly what your real laugh sounds like in your day-to-day life in order to make sure that you are utilizing your therapy effectively. Record yourself laughing while in a therapy session and play it back to yourself regularly in order to keep the memory fresh. Then, when you laugh, try to reproduce that laugh as closely as possible if you are not entirely feeling it. Doing so will help you "fake it until you make it."
3. Experience What Makes You Laugh Regularly
Finally, you need to increase the opportunities for yourself to laugh. This could be by watching stand-up comedy and funny movies, hanging out with friends that you find hysterical, or enthusiastically playing with your young child. By actively seeking out these opportunities, you will be able to improve your mood naturally and ensure that you are able to continue your treatment from home.
For more information, talk to a local therapist, such as Lynch Michael Ph.D.