Other experts have uncovered health benefits in unusual ways, notably Michael Christensen, co-founder of the Big Apple Circus in New York City. When he first began "clown doctoring," he scarcely imagined how successful the project would become. Today the circus's Clown Care Unit employs more than 90 jokers dressed as doctors who visit pediatric units at hospitals in New York, Boston and other cities. Their mission is to use humor to make life a bit easier for young patients who must endure long hospital stays for such ills as cancer and diabetes. Many of the children fare best when the clowns arrive; the interaction helps them tolerate their condition.
So when life is getting you down, laugh. If you can't find a source of humor, then at least find a mirror and smile at yourself for a moment. Even though that might not eliminate your work stress or annoyance at your children, it will improve your mood and create a little distance between yourself and your problems, at least temporarily.
This article was originally published with the title A Healthy Laugh.