Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a disorder that some individuals develop after undergoing a shocking, terrifying, or dangerous incident(s). Oftentimes, people can also develop PTSD after unexpectedly losing a loved one or by living through a situation that wasn’t necessarily dangerous, but really left them traumatized. PTSD can turn bright days into dark
days and happy moments into sad ones. It can really turn somebody’s life upside down completely and leave them feeling depressed, frightened, and a sense of helplessness. On the bright side, it is treatable and manageable like all other mental health conditions. For me, I have found that laughter has truly been the best medicine during my PTSD healing journey, so I want to share some ways that I have used laughter to help me overcome my PTSD.
One of my favorite activities ever is to go to a comedy show! Even if I’m having a great day, I still want to laugh as much as possible, and there’s no better place to do that than at a
comedy show. I started to use comedy clubs as an escape from my darkness and would go to a show almost once a week for a very long time. I found that getting out of the house to sit in a
room full of laughing people was some of the best medicine for me, so I continuously did it. As time went on, I started to share that experience with my family, and now it has become a priority for us to see a show together at least once a month, and nothing makes me happier.
You’ve probably heard this before, but watching a funny movie or TV show can be super beneficial to your mental health, and in this case specifically, helping you heal your PTSD. When watching a movie or TV show, you escape into this fictional reality for 30 minutes or more and sometimes, your life and troubles don’t seem as much of a worry as they usually do. There have been days where I couldn’t lift my head off the pillow or get out of bed because my PTSD symptoms would impact me so greatly, and the only thing that would make me smile were my shows that made me laugh out loud. For me, it was Mom, Sex and the City, The Nanny, Two and a Half Men, and stand up comedy specials. In my book’s acknowledgments, I thanked the entire cast of Mom for making me laugh on a daily basis and getting me through some of my darkest moments. Trust me guys, put on that funny show or movie. Laugh your butt off until you can’t breathe. It’s the best feeling.
This next one may seem like something that’s impossible to do when you’re feeling really low, but it can be so extraordinarily helpful for your mind, body, and soul: go out with your funniest friend(s) whenever you can! Even if you get the tiniest amount of motivation to get out of the house and socialize with people, try your very best to act on it because I guarantee you
will feel really good about yourself once you’re out smiling and laughing. I think that it is super important to surround yourself with individuals who make you laugh until it hurts and there are tears pouring out of your eyes, so try to make that a priority. I know that everything I’m saying is much easier said than done, believe me I have lived through such darkness, but getting myself up and out of the house to see my funny friends healed me tremendously.
You got this. Finally, I want to suggest something that I am so obsessed with, and that is Instagram
Reels and TikToks! Guys, some of the videos on these social media platforms are absolutely hysterical! I literally sit on my phone for hours every single day endlessly scrolling through Instagram and TikTok laughing for minutes on end. If I’m feeling anxious, depressed, hopeless, or lonely, I simply just pick up my phone, open Instagram or TikTok, and just scroll. Looking at
memes and watching TikToks are truly an instant vacation from that moment of darkness, and because life is so stressful, laughing just feels plain good. I like suggesting the social media trick to people because it requires no movement and it’s free, so it’s super accessible. I could not recommend funny internet videos enough! Overall, PTSD can take such a toll on a person’s life and lead them down a very dark path. Fortunately, people have overcome these feelings, like myself, and now I am so grateful that I get to help others do the same. I will forever stand by the fact that laughter is the best medicine, as it has literally saved my life. Remember that it’s ok to cry and yell and scream, but it’s also okay to smile and laugh every once in a while.