“Humor is just another defense against the universe.” -Mel Brooks
Is laughter a strong enough medicine to stand up in the face of a worldwide pandemic? Humor may not need to stand up to the rigorous testing that is required of real-world medicine, but it is not less potent in its capacity to lift the human spirit. This isn’t merely opinion either — many known psychologists agree, stating that utilizing humor can help people regain some sense of power and control over otherwise powerless situations, as well as provide a needed sense of connectedness with those laughing alongside us.
There’s nothing funny about a worldwide pandemic that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives — but, the way that we respond to anxiety and stressors, the ways we cope, can have a profound effect on our overall state of mind and wellbeing. Whether you’re feeling the effects of fear, anxiety, grief, or even loneliness, being able to experience humor in some form of a communal sense could be just the ticket to put your soul at ease.
How Humans Are Wired to Benefit from Laughter
You don’t need Gutty’s Comedy Club to remind you of the seriousness of what our country is currently going through. Firstly, you get plenty of that from other sources. Secondly, our job is to bring the laughs! Some people cope with stress by binge cleaning, overindulging in snacks, or becoming cat people. We’d like to offer our own method that has been proven to be effective — jokes, wisecracks, tomfoolery, and other forms of repartee.
Laughter releases endorphins into your brain, which is the “feel-good” hormone, while also introducing cortisol, which helps reduce stress. It’s almost as if our bodies were designed by their very nature to respond positively to humor. Some studies even suggest that laughter is good for your immune system, as it’s been found to increase antibody-producing cells in some people.
It’s possible to find that your physical state is also positively impacted by laughing. When you’re wrapped up in a good old fashioned guffaw, some people experience pain relief, an improvement in their mental state, less stress, and stronger personal bonds with those around them. You can cut the amount of stress you’re feeling by almost 50% just by participating in a humorous exchange! You could almost argue that laughter is stress leaving the body one hooting donkey-chortle at a time.
Simple Ways to Infuse Humor Into Your Life
The nice thing about comedy and humor is that, generally, it’s a free commodity. You don’t have to go far to find something that suits your sense of humor. This is an abundant resource that is widely available to anyone, and for the purposes of addressing your mental and physical health, that’s hard to come by these days. That said, here are some great ways to infuse a bit more giggle-juice into your life.
Stream Comedy Online
Comedy venues, just like music venues and performing arts centers, have been hit extremely hard by this worldwide epidemic. However, those who can adapt can overcome, so we’ve taken our comedy to the “interwebs,” as the kids say. While we still host live comedy shows, you can also enjoy live comedy acts streamed directly to your living room every weekend! We can’t wait to have you, your friends, your brother, and the cousin you tolerate, back in-person for comedy, but until then, we’re playing it safe with smaller admission sizes. Join us online so you can still be a part of the fun!
Subscribe to Comedians’ YouTube Channels
YouTube is a veritable treasure trove of comedy, and some of it is even quite good. Many comedians, who make a living by traveling the world doing their routines, have been relegated to utilizing YouTube and other video platforms to keep producing new material for fans, both new and old. If you want a silver lining to all of the time that we’ve spent social distancing and quarantining, it’s this — creative and funny people have kept very busy. Many of the comedians that we’ve hosted at Gutty’s have their own channels where they post new material, the material they’re working on, and their general musings about the state of the world with alarming frequency. Take a few minutes to explore and find a few that regularly produce content!
Share Your Own Comedy
Perhaps you fancy yourself a wordsmith or someone who is quick with the tongue and can dole out the yuks with the best of them. What better time than now to start creating your own material and trying it out in a relatively low-risk environment? Start a YouTube channel, TikTok, or Facebook page and just give it a shot! You never know, people might like the smell of what you’re cookin’.
Build a Joke Library
You may not be able to come up with your own jokes, but if you have an ear for what makes people laugh, start keeping track! Maybe you’re super into lame dad jokes that are so-bad-they’re-good, or you’ve never met a pun you didn’t like. Either bookmark them online or write them down so that you have a small arsenal of japes prepared for a rainy day. You never know when you might be able to make someone’s day with a well-timed existential knock-knock joke.
You’re a Great Resource for Your Own Comedy
There’s something to be said about self-deprecating humor. Not in a malicious or self-hating way, but in the sense that it’s best not to take yourself too seriously, and maybe step back and realize how much of your life is actually quite humorous. What sort of conversations do you have with your dog? What alarmingly disgusting food habits have you resorted to during the pandemic? What did you end up using in lieu of toilet paper during that whole fiasco? You are a great place to start when it comes to seeing the humor in everyday life, and incorporating that into the humor that you share with those around you should be easy.
Watch Live Comedy Together Safely
When this health crisis is in the rear-view mirror and we can safely open up at full capacity again, you better believe that we’d love to pack the house. Until then, stay safe, join us in limited numbers in person, stream online, and don’t forget to laugh in the face of uncertainty.
“Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” -Mark Twain