Aimee Hoffmann, FEI EAP Counselor
No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, it’s hard to deny tensions run high and deep with the recent election. So high, in fact, friends and families are finding themselves at extreme odds. You can hear this in conversations at home, at work, on the news and saturating social media.
There have been disturbing statistics reporting an uptick in call volume to various hotlines. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline reported that, between 1:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. on the Wednesday before the 2016 election outcome was certain, the phone rang 660 times—2.5 times the average. At the Crisis Text Line, requests for help more than doubled in the first 24 hours following the election results. Over 2,000 people contacted the text hotline, with the words “election” and “scared” being the most commonly used.
During times of uncertainty, it’s important to look for ways to cope. One coping mechanism that may get downplayed is humor.
There is a great deal of research supporting the multiple benefits of humor. Humor helps diffuse conflict and makes people feel more connected to one another. At work, it can improve productivity and increase employee engagement while reducing status differentials between managers and employees.
A dose of humor releases serotonin in the brain and increases overall brain power. Not only can humor relieve stress, there is evidence supporting physical benefits too. Mayo Clinic outlines the following short-term and long-term health benefits of a good laugh:
We all could use more humor and connectedness these days. Your employee assistance program (EAP) is always a good avenue to consider if you are having difficulty coping in these