Have you ever been stressed or anxious, and then a friend comes along and makes you laugh? It’s like magic – all of a sudden, through a good laugh, the tension is released and you can cope better. Humour is a great way to get through difficult times.
Navy SEAL training must be one of the most demanding courses someone can go through, both mentally and physically. Interestingly, laughing is often a strategy used by the recruits to get through the difficult times. SEAL platoon commander James Waters* says:
You’ve got to have fun and be able to laugh; laugh at yourself and laugh at what you’re doing. My best friend and I laughed our way through BUD/S. We still tell the same jokes whenever I talk him. It’s one of my best memories of going through BUD/S. There’s something about when you’re facing a really crummy situation, to look over at your friend and see him smile. It tells you, “Alright, I’m going to be fine. We’re going to be fine and it’s all going to work out.
When we find something funny, it means we are seeing it from a different perspective. This seems to allow us to take a step back from the immediate problem or stress, which in turn helps buffer against that stress. Use the people around you to have a laugh when times get tough, or find a way to laugh at yourself, and in situations where you can either you can laugh or cry – choose laugh every time.