Instant Stress Relief For Writers: Feel Happier With One Quick Change

stress relief - laughter

Photo Credit: David Castillo Dominici /

Laughter is the best stress reliever.

But how can someone initiate laughter? And how can you keep the stem of this laughter from turning into procrastination?

I often think that I am doing myself a favor by simply watching a sitcom and laughing.

After all, laughing releases endorphins to make you feel better, it acts as an exercise to strengthen your core muscles and reduces stress.

The problem with me watching sitcoms?

They are 30 minutes long, the first one tends to lead to another and I just sit in a chair by myself the entire time.

It does take some effort or activity to laugh at something, so what are some other things that can make you laugh?

  • A funny joke from a friend
  • A funny situation at work, school or wherever you are
  • A comedy club, stand-up comedian or funny movie

All of these are great, but once again they take effort, time and some even cost money.

So why not laugh at things that already happened? I’ll take it a step further. Why not laugh at things that already happened to YOU? Difficult, miserable, even destructive things that happened to you.

Laughing at your own sorrows doesn’t make them disappear, but it puts them on your team.

Your trials and tribulations are suddenly something that no one else can laugh at you or criticize you for. Why? Because you beat them to it. You no longer let it affect you and therefore nobody can let it affect you.

Think of your deepest regrets or failures. Maybe you let down a friend or family member, submitted your book 50 times with all rejections or received a denial letter from your dream job or school.

Now laugh about it.

Still can’t?

Think about this: Your failure or regret is far better than what most people are going through on a day-to-day-basis. In our world people are suffering through terrible situations.

Now, open up a file of one of the first things you worked on, whether it be a short story, website, film, class paper or what not. View it and examine the horror. It’s probably terrible, I know my first’s in anything usually are.

Your failures are simply comical attempts at success.

Everyone sucks when they try something new, and it’s hilarious. Failure is funny because you tried something new, you did it the worst you can possibly do it and it felt like your life was being wasted.

However, laughter also stems from the fact that you can literally see your improvement. Call it “joy laughter”, but you are able to see the transition you have made into a person who can legitimately call them self a writer, poet, filmmaker, cook, gardener, comedian or whatever.

So just remember that when you failed before or did something you regret, there is probably some great laughs to be had, and most importantly: You’re overreacting.

Riding a bike is fun, but falling off a few times to learn is where the great stories come from.

Besides, how can you not laugh when people with more difficult situations do it everyday?

Tell me about a failure or misfortune that you can now laugh at in the comments.

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About Joe Warnimont

I am a writer, marketing expert and adventure seeker. I help people write, market their writing, live truthfully and embrace their lives through creativity. You can find me riding my bike around the streets of Chicago. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.


  1. I regularly write about my failure, or bad decisions I made. In hindsight I usually find them funny. I think though it depends on your personality. I love humor and even in the most awful situations I usually find something to laugh about. I blame my mother!

  2. Lindsey Gendke says:

    “View it and examine the horror.” This line made me actually laugh, so good job–your post accomplished for this reader what you advised I should do on my own! Just yesterday, I was looking at a past application I sent in for a Creative Writing program…only last year. And I had to shake my head, “Yes, I see why I didn’t get in.” The writing sample was undirected, it was clear I didn’t have a clear target of what I was driving at, and it was clear I was trying too hard to write “creatively.” In just a year, since I’ve started just letting my honest self come out in writing, it’s amazing how much better the writing has gotten (in my humble opinion). What a blessing to look back on past failures and see progress!

  3. Laughing, smiling and finding something to be glad about — something to be thankful for — are the best stress lifters and mood boosters I know.

    As for my story? I can now laugh at the first time I colored my hair. I was a young mother, probably thirty years ago. I followed the directions to “lighten” my hair, and ended up with a strawberry blonde color that was such a shock, I decided I had better go back to the store and find another color before my husband got home. Since I’d hadn’t liked the results with the first brand I tried, I bought something different, in what looked like my natural shade. I learned that day that you cannot put aluminum based color on top of ammonia based color. (Well, you can, but it turns green.) My four year old daughter looked at me with saucer eyes, and I could only imagine how my husband would react. I stuffed my hair under a kerchief, bundled up my little girl and took a trip to the store for the third time that day. I asked the advice of a clerk. That’s when I learned there were two types of color that didn’t mix. She was not willing to offer advice, so I tried to calm myself, knowing my husband would be home within the hour. I had green hair. I wanted brown hair. I knew that green and orange make brown….Yes, I bought orange hair dye and hurried home. By the time my husband arrived, there was nothing on the table, but I was tucking brownish curls, with undertones of green and orange, under my kerchief.
    To this day, whenever my husband sees me reach for a box of hair color, he asks, “Going to play chemistry set with your hair again, Sue?” At least I can smile about it now.

  4. Go check this out. You are a recipient of these no-strings-attached awards

  5. Your site is pretty awesome. I’ve nominated you for the versatile blogger award!

    Cheers, Michala

  6. I laugh at myself all the time. And you are right, it really does make some great stories when you tell it to someone else. Plus, it puts people at ease when you can laugh at yourself instead of at them.

  7. One of my favorite film makers Peter Jackson says “always follow a blow or blood with something funny” its worked for me every time.

  8. (wish i was this way LAST NIGHT) but … wish i had really happy comedic stuff to laugh at — more than has been the case of recent; but … sometimes everything (it seems) is just so crazily out of synch, bad, piling up, i’ll just laugh at it! as deep down inside i know how trivial it all really is.

  9. One of the remedies between good friends who happens to be writers is to make jokes and poke fun at each other.
    Me and my friend often poke fun at each other, whether it be music or references to something.

  10. I don’t see where to follow you at on WordPress but I do see how to follow you everywhere else smile. Help please?

    • Hi Shirlena,

      There should be a button on the bottom right hand corner of the window that says “follow” for the wordpress follow option. Let me know if you can’t find it.

  11. I love the idea of laughing at our past failures. As an artist, I tend to look at some of my past art work and cringe, but you’re right, it’s much more fun to just laugh at it instead! lol After all, when we look at our past mistakes or failures we get to see how far we’ve come and how much better we are Now, and that feels pretty damn good!

    A great read and I think I have to start following your blog now. πŸ™‚

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