Recovery from substance abuse is serious business, but we can’t be all nose to the grindstone every waking minute. Can you think of a time when you were so focussed on a project at work or at home, that you lost your sense of humor. Perhaps you became irritable with others and impatience with yourself. When you focus on nothing but the project you can lose site of the bigger picture.
Humor in recovery gives you a reprieve from the serious work you’re doing. Walk into any AA or NA meeting and you’ll hear laughter. People in recovery learn to laugh at themselves. They enjoy hearing the mistakes and patterns that others discuss. They laugh, because what others say, reminds them of themselves. Laughter is a universal language that promotes comradeship and bonding with others.
Nothing’s funny, you say. If you are new to recovery, and are annoyed by the laughter in the room, consider just letting the annoyance flow through you. Humor can’t be forced, but given time and listening to shared experiences may open you up to it. Humor can release tension in your body, and that is an important element to healing.
A team of Swiss researchers reported that laughter and humor can increase pain tolerance and improve quality of life. According to Thomas Benz (RehaClinic Zurzach, Switzerland), targeted humor interventions should be part of pain therapy. A possible explanation for the pain reduction could be that humor activates the release of endorphins and relieves muscular tension. Thus the effect on pain is both at a mental and physical level. When in recovery for an addiction, people are undoubtedly in some form of mental discomfort and stress.
Humor makes us feel lighter, it’s like the cliche—a breath of fresh air. It promotes positive feelings, and it combats fear by changing your perspective. Laughter creates space between a situation and our reaction to it. It can help us realize and integrate the thought —That was then, this is now. This helps to keep us in the present, which is where we belong.
Try conducting your own experiment by watching humorous videos that have gone viral, like the laughing man on the train or Lucille Ball’s famous Chocolate Factory scene. Did the laughter make you feel better? See, your recovery doesn’t have to be hard all the time!
Serenity Oaks provides an intensive 5 week program to support your sobriety and recovery from addiction. We provide medical support, detox, and other help such as building life skills. Through individualized programs we help you move forward in recovery. Call us to find out how we can help you get started: 844-396-8526.