To fight the daily onslaught of stress in your life I suggest that you use your sense of humor. Nothing relaxes and refreshes the body like a good hearty laugh. The ability to take your job seriously and yourself lightly will go a long way in the battle against stress.

A sense of humor can be used in stress reduction, problem solving, team building and improving communications without ever telling a joke.

Comedy works by stepping back from a situation and playing up its absurdities. Remember that vacation from hell you had and how two weeks later you were laughing about it. For STRESS BUSTING Jeff says, “Why wait? Laugh at it while it’s happening.”

Sometimes your laughter needs to be internal, for example during a board meeting. When your boss announces your budget for the next year, you don’t want to laugh in his face. (Then you would need my seminar, “How to Handle Stressful Job Interviews With Humor.”)

Humor is also wonderful for reframing tense situations. A creative female employee of one company got tired of her boss telling her that she needed further cuts in her budget if she wanted him to ok it. When she got her budget to the bare bones and he still turned it back she literally reduced it to the size of a postage stamp on the office copier and resubmitted it. After they both had a good laugh, her boss gave in and okayed it.

The next time things are going bad try picturing them really bad. Keep exaggerating the situation until it becomes ludicrous and you find yourself laughing.

Remember, he who laughs – lasts!

Jeff Justice, a motivational humorist is the president of Corporate Comedy which specializes in showing corporations hows and whys of bringing humor into the workplace.