Sebastopol
December 2, 2020
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Write it down: Joy and laughter, comic relief

By: Peg Rogers
October 9, 2020

Do you find all the news so depressing and anxiety filled you want to just turn it all off?  How about all the “fake” news bombarding us on the internet? Need relief?  Take some time each day to find humor around you.

Are you a prisoner of your phone?  That must be why it is called a “cell” phone.  

Or another one from (coolfunnyquotes.com) “I want to change my name on Facebook to “Nobody,” so when I see someone posting something stupid I can “Like” their post, and it will say “Nobody likes this.”

My mother had an LP record that she used to play frequently because it made her laugh out loud.  It was a recording of a comedian in London she had gone to see.  He would tell a joke about someone doing something outrageous and funny and he would say after the audience stopped laughing, “Write it down, tis a good one.”

My mom found relief from her often traumatic life by always either telling jokes or writing down ones she heard she thought were funny.  Often her jokes were written on cocktail napkins.  (The only paper at hand, when laughter was the order of the day at cocktail parties.)

My late husband, a policeman, saw some horrific crimes and often he and his partner would try to recall funny incidents to lesson the stress of what they had just witnessed or been a part of.  

Humor is an anecdote to much of what is happening in our lives.  

The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu had many conversations about Joy and its importance in today’s world.  (The Book of Joy, Lasting Happiness in a changing world by his holiness, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams, 2016, Penguin Random House, New York).

The book is a record of several conversations between the two men.   The Dalai Lama stressed “mental immunity”s the way to true joy and happiness.   (P 83-84). In their conversations they noted that negative emotions and feelings are normal.  And to not feel guilty or ashamed about the thoughts, instead to affect their impact on our lives by adjusting the attitude toward them.  Developing “mental immunity” can be the result of becoming aware of what your thoughts about things are doing to your wellbeing. When inevitable bad things happen, sickness, losses, arguments etc. one can become self reflective, write about them, explore their effects on oneself. And when it is too much, turn to some comic relief.  

Take a laughsitive… A local author, Swami Beyondananda’s daily laughsitive!

 SWAMI'S TWO-LINERS Q. Swami, how can we know what a politician really means

A. You have to read between the lyins (wakeuplaughing.com)

“It may take a village to raise a child, but I swear it’s going to take a whole vineyard to homeschool one. (wwwww.bizwaremagic.com)

A friend routinely sends me via email, endearing posts about animals doing unexpected things or lighthearted sayings.  When I just want to put everything out of my mind and need a bit of sunshine, I open her emails.

When my daughter was 8-12 years of age, she loved telling knock knock jokes or other jokes she had read or heard.

And one of my favorite reminders is from Eckhart Tolle, “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it.” 

In journal writing as a self-reflective practice it can be helpful to look at what is causing you stress and question its impact on your wellbeing, physically, psychologically, emotionally.  

So, in writing about how you are feeling expand on it, question its impact on your physical being, your mental well-being.  Staying focused on the issue, writing out the details and your role as well, just may help you develop more “mental immunity” and could give you greater clarity on moving forward.

And remember to take some “laughsitives”

now and then to lighten the load.  

Remember the rules for journal writing.

In preparation for journal writing gather pens/pencils, colored pens and a good blank no lines book. (sometimes you may want to draw out or write in many different colors to express your feelings.)

1. If while writing you become too stressed and feel you would be pushed over the edge, STOP WRITING. You may need to talk to a professional or a friend instead.

2. Write at least three pages, preferably in long hand (seems more organic to me). On your computer is fine too. (You may capture fleeting thoughts more easily.)

3. You are writing just for yourself, do not share this with anyone else.  Your private thoughts are yours alone.

4. Because this is not writing for others you don’t need to worry about “maybe I shouldn’t write this” or correct spelling or punctuation.  The idea is to write without stopping for three pages.

5. Find a quiet, private space, same time everyday. I’ve had students who live in cramped apartments, drive to the beach and write in their car, others have written in bed, 

6. To start I always suggest to take a few moments to get centered, breath a few calming breaths, before you start.

And remember laughter helps heal. Check out the “greatcosmichappyass.com” website. For some truly inspiring ways to be creative and happy.