Maybe Kurt Vonnegut was right when he said that “Humor is an almost physiological response to fear”.
Humor, is an effective tool to overcome fears, it works by forcing a change of perspective, facilitating real reappraisal of the situation.
This means that humor puts fears into perspective. It addresses the same issues as fear, not to dismiss them, but to strengthen our ability to confront them, and then laugh them away, a kind of counter-measure.
Funny is healthy… People use humor successfully to desensitize phobias, such as fear of spiders. They use it to combat anxieties and to even to alleviate pain.
Humor to combat childhood fears
Children go through a phase of development around age three or four, in which they start develop fears, both realistic an non-realistic. The up side is that their sense of humor also develops around the same age and they respond with delight and often uncontrolled laughter to anything humorous.
The great thing about humor is that it is the one thing that fear cannot abide. This means that laughter can help to replace fear, and it is a very useful tool to empower children and give them a sense of control and a new perspective over their fears.
Laughter is a testament to courage, and courage is stronger than fear.
We all need a strong and healthy dose of focused humor in our lives every day!
Photo credit: simpleinsomnia
Humor can ease fear, Stanford http://www.futurity.org/no-kidding-humor-eases-fear/
Using humor in systematic desensitization to reduce fear, http://www.csulb.edu/~djorgens/ventis.pdf
Emotional Development in Preschool Age Children http://www.education.com/reference/article/emotional-development-preschool-children/