There is nothing funny about being laid off, losing half of your retirement in the stock market or having your whole world crumble beneath your feet, but if you talk to anybody who’s been through hell (and kept going), you will learn that having a sense of humor is a crucial aspect to effectively coping with stress. In stress management circles, it’s called “humor therapy” or comic relief. Freud called humor one of the best defense mechanisms because it decreases pain AND increases pleasure. Boy do we need some humor in these rapidly changing times. Have you ever said to yourself during a really bad moment, “A year from now, this will be funny, but right now, it’s not funny!” Well… don’t wait a whole year; you might forget to cash in. Laugh now! Stressful episodes, no matter how intense or prolonged, typically include a period of grieving (which is only natural). Humor helps ease the pain of stress and gets you back on the road to your highest potential. In Viktor Frankl’s classic book, Man’s Search for Meaning, he describes the horrible ordeal of surviving in Auschwitz the notorious Holocaust concentration death camp. Even under the worst of all possible conditions, he said people could find things to bring a smile to their face. We would do well to learn from Frankl. There are many kinds of humor; from self-parody to irony to satire, double entrendres, puns, even bathroom humor, but the one kind of humor that doesn’t reduce stress is sarcasm (which literally means “to tear flesh”). Sarcasm is a latent form of anger and it would be best to minimize or abandon this style all together. So start your day by putting a smile on your face and see if you can reach what some people say is the quota of 15 laughs per day. Start with the photo up top.
• Stress Tip for the Day:
Consider starting a “Tickler Notebook”: a collection of funny jokes, jpgs, birthday cards, Dave Barry columns—anything that brings a smile to your face and warms your heart. If you start looking for one funny thing a day, the truth is that you will find many things to laugh at, even in the worst of times. Having this notebook to refer to when you are down in the dumps is a great humor Rx.
Another suggestion is to listen to NPR’s Car Talk show (usually on weekends) with Click and Clack. (This show masquerades as a car talk show, but it’s really a high brow comedy show and one of the best programs on the radio (not bad car advice either).
• Website Link Worth Noting:
Dewitt Jones is a phenomenal nature photographer and he has a website that’s for anybody who wants to see the world in a new (better) way.
Please explore his website and see how you feel afterwards. Most likely you will be ready to conquer the world. Enjoy
• Photo of the Day
This photo was sent to me by a friend who knows I love funny things. Given that Colorado is a semi-arid part of the country where forest fire danger is high here too, we might be seeing these kinds of signs as well. I don’t know who created this but thank you for sharing your sense of humor.
• Quote for the Day:
“I’m and old man and I have know a great many problems, most of which never
happened. ” —Mark Twain
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net