Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

It has been said that "laughter is the best medicine" and I will have to agree. There has been research that shows several important stress relieving benefits of laughter and it is my personal favorite type of stress management because not only is it effective, but it is free! :)

I'm just like every other human being on this planet in that I have my share of stressful moments. With the upcoming move overseas, trying to get things organized for our departure and the dealing with everyday difficult people...I am feeling my share of stress. But it's important to not let stress overcome you. Nobody likes a giant stress monster, particularly those who you may lash out at when you turn into that monster. Instead of reacting ugly or angry towards someone, first identify what is frustrating you or upsetting you and respond in a positive way. Respond, don't react.

How many times have you reacted badly to someone(directly or indirectly) out of stress or been the victim on the receiving end of someone else who was fueled by stress-related anger? It's not pretty, is it? How many times have you or someone you know been down right mean only to discover later that they were really upset about something else entirely and just chose to take their frustrations out on you instead of dealing with the real problem at hand? This is a poisonous approach to stress. Not only did you not resolve the underlying problem but you created more stress in your own life and unnecessary stress in the life of the victim you decided to take it out on. If you genuinely have a concern or someone has upset you, the respectable thing to do is to go to that person directly and peacefully tell them what's bothering you (more often than not they have no idea that they have even offended you), don't be passive-aggressive about it. And if that person does come to you with a concern, whether it be in person or by phone/letter - respond respectfully - it took courage to approach you in the first place and they cared enough to want to resolve the problem.

If we really take a moment to evaluate each situation and ourselves we can discover the cause of our stress and then decide what we can do to reduce or even eliminate it. For many, laughter is a great cure for stress!

My husband is my laughter doctor! :) It doesn't matter what is going on in life, he provides me with my daily dose of humor. I'm eternally grateful for his ability to always make me laugh, particularly when I need it the most. Of course there are also several comedians who's job is to make me laugh and are very successful at it! Here are a few that seem to have a direct line to my funny bone: Jim Carrey, Mitch Hedburg, Ellen Degeneres, Jerry Seinfeld, Tina Fey, Conan O'Brien, Mike Birbiglia....just to name a few.

So good luck if you're trying to get a negative reaction out of me. You're going to have to really try hard because I have a secret weapon...a sense of humor. :)

What makes YOU laugh? I'd love to hear your stories!

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