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Laughter as medicine
6/21/2008 - Hilary Drummond and Anita Bakker, Southern Exposure Weekend

How has laughter been good medicine for you?

There are so many stories that show the benefits of laughter, yet just when we need it the most it seems that our prescription runs out!

 

Laughter can help bring perspective to difficult situations. It can bring some sense of meaning to the absurd. Laughter can help us forgive ourselves for those moments we wish hadn’t happened…like the “foot in the mouth” or worse! Often time can bring glimpses of humour to problems and challenges, but is it possible to lighten up a bit sooner?  In his book “The Art of Possibility” author Ben Zander tells a story about an organizational leader who, when confronted with staff members who were frenzied, frustrated and out of control would simply say “Please, please! Remember rule #6” which magically and instantly restored calm. When asked by someone who witnessed this remarkable change, “what is this amazing Rule #6?” the response was, “oh, it just means don’t take yourself so seriously”! Impressed by the results of this remarkable rule the question was then asked “what are the other five rules?”, the reply was, “there aren’t any…there’s just rule #6!”

 

Even when things just aren’t funny we m ay be able to apply this principle. When you can see the lighter side of a situation it allows some levity and light into your life. We all need more of that!

 

Imagine you are in a situation where someone else does something that you find disrespectful and rude.  In the heat of the moment it may not be very funny, but once you have had a chance to process the information you may realize that their intention was not to make you feel bad, but rather to get a humorous response from others in the room.  What was emotionally charged in a negative way can be looked back on in a lighter, more positive frame of mind.  By allowing yourself to view the moment with humour, you take away its power over you and can move to a new level of understanding both of your own reaction and what the needs of the other individual were.

 

 

Laughter helps you look at things through a different lens.  It changes how you see yourself and allows you to see another’s perspective more easily. We see this on sit-coms on television and can laugh readily at the characters dilemmas.  How about applying some of that humour to our own lives?

 

How has humour helped you lately?

 

We would love to hear your story, so please email us at the addresses below.



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