Finally, the conclusion

Today, one in ten persons is falling victim to OVERSTRESS. Those who are becoming chemically dependent are walking a fatal path. Others “drop out” at an early age, to join the ranks of society’s “marginal survivors”. 

The cost to society is immense. The effects of OVERSTRESS cost our society at least 60 billion dollars a year. Our society loses through: lost productivity, medical care for the complications of OVERSTRESS, job accidents, and traffic fatalities (half of which are related to driving while using Pick-Me-Up’s). 

We certainly live in a society whose hallmark is rapid change. Our broader definition of stress tells us that this rapid change means high stress levels. Most of the human experience on Earth has not involved such a rapid pace of change. Most of the human experience has not prepared us to handle the demands of 20th Century life. That is why one in ten persons is constantly fighting OVERSTRESS. 

Humour and laughter can be effective self-care tools to cope with stress. They can improve the function of the body, the mind, and the spirit. An ability to laugh at our situation or problem gives us a feeling of superiority and power. Humour and laughter can foster a positive and hopeful attitude. We are less likely to succumb to feelings of depression and helplessness if we are able to laugh at what is troubling us. Humour gives us a sense of perspective on our problems. Laughter provides an opportunity for the release of uncomfortable emotions which, if held inside, may create biochemical changes that are harmful to the body. 

People can increase their beneficial laughter by adding exposure to humourous material. Caregivers can consciously change their behaviors to provide more laughter and cheer in their work settings. Humour resources are plentiful. Laughter training exists. We can become our own best medicine.