10 tips for finding humor in turbulent times
The economy is on its wildest ride in decades. The line waiting for a government bail-out is almost as long as the line waiting to check-out in stores this holiday shopping season. And, you’re simply at wits end in trying to deal with it all!
Fear not - there’s humor to be found amidst all of this chaos and confusion. So says Dr. Barbara Serle Rhodes, a chiropractor from Social Circle and a member of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor. The mission of this growing, international community of professionals, founded in 1987, is to study, practice and promote healthy humor and laughter.
”The great thing about humor is it’s FREE and available to everyone,” smiles Dr. Barbara Serle Rhodes. “It’s sugar-free, fat-free, salt-free, and tax-free! It’s available 24-7 and you don’t need a prescription! There’s no assembly required and you don’t need batteries! It’s environmentally friendly, and best of all, it’s socially contagious!”
Healthy, therapeutic humor enhanc- es relationships, is non-hostile, sympathetic, benevolent, tolerant, and often philosophical. AATH is careful to distinguish it from hurtful, harmful humor that is more aggressive, critical, sarcastic, cruel, often based on put-downs, and involves laughing at someone else’s expense.
AATH has generated the following list of 10 tips to help you lighten up and rise above the current economic turmoil and stress of the holiday season:
1. Adjust Your Attitude
Stop watching the news and start counting your blessings instead of your money! The blessings will increase, while the money is…well, you know!
2. Make Someone Else Happy
Send unexpected ‘thank you’ or greeting cards to a mix of people. Start with those who aren’t expecting it but deserve it. Then, send a couple to people who aren’t expecting and don’t deserve it. Then, pick a couple names at random out of the phone book that certainly aren’t expecting it and have no idea who you are!
3. Signs of the Times
Have some mirthful signs or sayings handy. For example:
• The rules have changed… there are none!
• Walking on water is in my job description!
• Apparently, not all clowns are in the circus!
• Never wrestle with a pig - you both get dirty, but the pig likes it!
• You don’t have to be crazy to work here…but it sure helps!
• If we’re closed, just slide the money under the door!
• I’m not weird… I’m gifted!
4. Try Some Random Acts of Silliness and Kindness
Wear mismatched gloves or socks… on purpose! Page yourself over the intercom! If and when a store clerk, restaurant server or flight attendant asks matter-of-factly “How are you today?” try replies such as, “Well medicated - and you?” or “At least I’m vertical!” Instead of them always thanking you, thank them first and watch their reaction!
5. Fun with Food
Put a bag of cookies or marshmallows in your briefcase. Then, start your meeting by asking, “Dessert, anyone?” Have a marshmallow stacking competition! Put a pack of bubble gum in your coat pocket and, in the elevator, offer some to everyone!
6. Pop Goes Your Worries
Save your bubble wrap! It’s a great stress reliever. Pop it with your fingers, knees and toes! Dance on it! Pop it with the help of young children! Pop it, in unison, to the beat of music!
7. Use Your Imagination
Think of what would happen if certain companies merged. For example: Fairchild Semiconductor and Honeywell Corporation would become Fairwell Honeychild. Grey Poupon and Docker Pants would become Poupon Pants. If FedEx joined UPS, they might become FedUP.
8. Rename to Keep Sane
Cash Flow: The movement your money makes as it disappears down the toilet. Broker: What I am today, after taking the advice of my financial planner. P/E Ratio: The percentage of investors wetting their pants as the market keeps crashing.
Comedians overstate things to get a laugh. You can too! “Our family is so poor these days… we took out a second mortgage on our cardboard box. Our family is so poor these days… to save on milk, we eat our corn flakes with a fork. Our family is so poor these days… when someone rings the doorbell, I stick my head out the window and yell, ‘Ding-Dong.’”
10. Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella
This simple choice is yours. You can frown and be miserable (way too many people readily choose this option), or you can wear a contagious smile. In your conversations with people, smile and ask to see their smile. Then say, “I see you’ve been practicing!”
For more information on AATH, visit www.aath.org