It’s okay to make a joke, even now

Photo+courtesy+of+Wallpaper+Flare.

Photo courtesy of Wallpaper Flare.

Falesha Brodie, theCULTURE Editor

Despite the current worldwide pandemic, there are still so many things to smile about.

 April is rumored to be the “peak month” for COVID-19.  Ironically, it is also National Humor Month — a month dedicated to highlighting the therapeutic power of laughter. 

The mental health of Americans is more fragile than ever, but the science behind laughter proves that with a joke or two, mental and physical health can be improved.

Anxiety and depression rates are rising, but laughter is still a natural “medicine”. “                                                                                                       

Short term benefits include organ stimulation, activating and relieving your stress response and soothing tension, according to mayoclinic.org

Down the road, it can improve your immune system, relieve pain, increase personal satisfaction and improve your mood.

Getting a laugh seems to be at the bottom of everyone’s to-do list. However, there are ways to improve your sense of humor. The staff at Mayo Clinic offer their help.

One of their suggestions is to take a walk down memory lane. Dig up old funny pictures of friends and family to spark laughter. Once you find those funny memories, share the laugh with others.

Social media is readily available 24/7. Look up some funny memes and gifs.

Even quarantine can’t stop you from catching some good stand up. Here’s a list of Netflix comedy specials to check out.

They also recommend finding humor in your situations to relieve stress — even “practicing” or forcing laughter is said to do the body good.

Beyond health benefits, laughter is a way to take back control over your circumstances.

Tom Mctague from The Atlantic wrote about how laughter and humor bring us together in such a time. He also points out that the world never really stopped laughing.

“We might be scared, but we seem determined to carry on laughing,” Mctague said. “We laugh, then, to take back control and to connect—two things we have lost in our fight against the coronavirus.”

He explains that even in tragedy, humans are still able to find humor.

“In our current crisis, humor is everywhere because fear is too. Laughter binds us together against a common enemy.”

Comedians share their perspective of comedy during this time.

“People want jokes,” said David Baddiel, a British comedian and writer. “Partly because jokes are a relief and they take the edge off danger; partly because they are a way of processing the experience; and yes, partly because … this is a massive shared experience.”

 Some even take to social media with their humor.

“I didn’t realize how much money I spent on going out to eat, until I couldn’t go out to eat anymore,” said comedian KevOnStage.