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Using Humor to Get Through the Day

By Jan Marshall

Life is about picking and choosing all that nurtures us.

Are you having fun yet? Do you totally adore going through the hours of the day? Seeing relatives? Working out? 

When I hear someone say, “Thank God it’s Friday,” I think they hate their jobs. When they shout, “Thank God, it’s Monday,” I imagine they hate their spouse. How about, “Thank goodness, I am still here,” wherever that here is. The natural condition of life is to be joyful — everywhere.

And yet these many months have been hellish for the most part. Lots of pain, separations and loss. Lots of loss. I cried so much during this time that if tears had calories, I’d be a tall thin blonde, in theory anyway.

Whenever someone mentions drought, I fear it’s because I am retaining all the water that often leak from my eyes.

In the 15th century (I was just a kid) bloodletting from the arm was intended to improve humor in patients. I think we have other means now and I appreciate that. Do you?

There are always funny movies and sit-coms and comediennes, books and the general absurdities of life. Find one silly observation every day and keep a record. At the end of a month you may have enough material to do standup at a comedy club. During a holiday dinner with certain relatives we absolutely could end up with volumes of laughable material (or a felony charge of assault with a dangerous turkey leg).

Life is about lightening up in attitude and spirit. When morale is high, so is connection. A contented neighbor who feels valued will smile as we walk by. When the attitude in our lives or others falls short, we can move on, learn from the experience and correct it. I like to think mistakes are simply another way of doing things as part of the road map to our destination. 

Laughter massages us. Humor is an ally more often than not. Though in real life certain pain absolutely needs time for healing and can’t be rushed.     

When we say happy, we are not talking about wearing a clown nose to board meetings. Save that for the bedroom.

YES! Humor in the bedroom is essential. During one evening of passion, I whispered in my lover’s ear, “Are you comfortable?” He said, “I make a living.” I laughed so hard that I fell off the bed, hurt my back and now I’m dating my chiropractor, who is sweet but let’s face it, quite a manipulator! 

— Jan Marshall

Jan Marshall’s life’s work is devoted to humor and healing through books, columns and consulting. A humorist and television host, she is a Certified Master Hypnotherapist. In 1986 she founded the International Humor & Healing Institute. Her board members included Norman Cousins, Steve Allen, Dr. Bernie Siegel and John Cleese, plus other physicians and entertainers. She wrote the satirical survival book, Dancin’ Schmancin’ with the Scars: Finding the Humor No Matter What! As a survivor, she donates a percentage of book profits to the American Cancer Society, American Brain Tumor Association, Wounded Warriors and The Laguna Woods Village Foundation. She's also written two children's books, The Littlest Hero and The Toothbush Who Tried To Get Away.

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