The Power of Laughter: Managing Change with a Sense of Humor
By Carla Rieger –
Blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves, for we shall never cease to be amused. – Anon
Anyone Can Re-Gain a Sense of Humor
Often the first thing to go when you are stressed out is your sense of humor. I lost mine at the tender age of 23. I was working two part-time jobs and going to university full time. One day a mentor remarked to me that I acted like a 45-year old funeral director. It stopped me in my tracks. She said it was because I acted so serious. I thought if I’m this serious now, what am I really going to be like in 20 years? I decided to change the course of history. I immersed myself in humor – books, movies, cartoons, clowning workshops, stand up, comedy improvisation. After a few years I noticed my personality totally changed. I seemed to handle chaos and stress with much more ease. I was less judgmental and more compassionate. I was less anxious and more self-confident. And, quite frankly, I was more popular. There is a great saying that goes “lighten up and your network will grow because people will be attracted by the light.”
Find the Balance Between Work and Play
Lightening up is a stress management tool. Financial planners suggest giving 10% of your paycheque to yourself to build up savings over time. It can be the same with your energy. If you take 10% of your day and renew yourself, you build up your energy bank account. Thus, when “shift happens”, you’ve got some energy in your bank account to deal with it. If you have let it run dry, that’s when burn out starts to happen. Fun is one of the best and quickest ways to renew your vital energy.
Laughter is THE Cerebral Laxative
Laughter is our God-given way to simply let go of excess fecal thought matter and get back to peace of mind. Within 10 minutes of a good belly laugh incredible health benefits start to kick in. For example, your blood pressure goes down, your thymus gland enlarges (improving your immune system), your breathing deepens, your liver more easily processes adrenaline, endorphins (the body’s natural painkiller) course through your system, plus a whole lot more. It’s quicker, better and less expensive than going to a spa.
Roller Coaster Therapy
If you tend to hold onto negativity perhaps you need to ride the roller coaster. I used to hate the roller coaster. I held on white-knuckled to the handle bar. After it was over I usually had to throw up. I used to envy people who seemed to love riding the roller coaster. They often held their arms in the air instead of clutching the bar. I decided to try riding the roller coaster – no hands – and discovered that I enjoyed it so much more. Plus I didn’t feel sick afterwards. Fun, laughter and humor help you let go of the handlebar of life more easily so that you enjoy the whole ride. Because life will always bring you change, bring you up and bring you down, then up again. The best way to manage change is to keep your sense of humor very handy in your stress management toolkit.
Just remember, as Donald Zochert once said, Love may make the world go around, but it’s laughter that keeps us from getting dizzy.
Carla Rieger is an expert on creative people skills at work. If you want a motivational speaker, trainer, or leadership coach to help you stay on the creative edge, contact Carla Rieger.
Web site: http://www.carlarieger.com
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