Let’s face it! The world is in a constant state of trouble, whether it is regarding politics, military power, or agreeing with governing in one’s own country. In the U.S. growing up, I always saw how drastic and impacting events around the world, and especially events in the Unites States, could be on one’s own life and outlook on the world. As I grew older and understood more of what certain problems around me could mean for me as an American, or even me as a person living on this Earth, it often caused a state of concern and stress that made me worry about certain outcomes in the future. Despite this distracting worrisome burden of an uncertain future that probably lies upon the minds of many people, there is an even more distracting force that exists that I believe in my opinion, goes underappreciated. This force my friends is the power of comedy.
Around since the Ancient Greeks, comedy has been a major distractor of problems around us. Yes, It is a good thing to be aware of our individual situations, problems, and responsibilities, but it is also a good idea to take a break once in a while so as to not be overwhelmed with stress and have it manifest the majority of one’s day. Experiencing comedy is done by one’s own personal preference and should be seen as a healthy outlet to reduce the stress one feels. For college students at UGA, the casual siting of students watching, “The Office”, in the Miller Learning Center is a frequent occurrence and an effective strategy in getting one’s daily dose of laughs in. For others, watching shows like, “Saturday Night Live”, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”, “Conan”, and other live comedy programs often bring a lighter spin on real news stories, making jokes of situations that would otherwise make people cringe without the help of a clever punchline.
So what do researchers and professionals say about Comedy’s impact in our daily lives you ask? Quoted from John Fugelsang, a New York-based political comedian, writer, actor, and radio host says: “I think it’s innate that if someone can make you laugh over what a mess everything is, then that person has not just earned your admiration but, on some level, has also earned your trust.” In the case of the USA, he says, the comedy has had to get so good because the news has got so bad.” Comedy is a constantly working industry and never sleeps, getting better each day to counteract the problems in which people around the world face. Without it, common thoughts and ideas about controversial topics may never be shared and the World would be a very humorless, depressed place. In addressing the benefits people feel from laughter and comedy, Brigid Delaney at CNN writes: ” A study done at the University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that a good sense of humor and the ability to laugh at stressful situations helps mitigate the damaging physical effects of distressing emotions.” Laughing physically can make one feel healthier, putting a person in greater mental stability, which ultimately can lead to other improved facets of life (I.e. physical health, relationships, etc.). I don’t know about other people, but personally in my opinion, that sounds like a lifestyle choice worth looking into.
So what now you ask? Yeah sure, comedy is great and all, but I don’t see it making an immediate change in my life anytime soon! Why bother? I’ll tell you why! Comedy is a useful tool that can day by day improve a person’s perspective on certain things, stimulate personal ideals, and improve overall happiness one potentially can experience. The saying, “Laughter is the best medicine”, was not coined for nothing, and holds truth to a certain extent. As said before, the power of comedy is often an overlooked and neglected resource, but it really should be appreciated for what it does for us as people. What do you think? Have you had your daily laugh yet?