How is humor an antidote to stress?

Before we get down to serious business and learn about specific stress reduction strategies, it is may be appropriate to not take ourselves to seriously about stress and  think about humor.

Norman Cousins  in a book titled,  Anatomy of  an Illness,[1] wrote about the therapeutic effects of humor in his own life. After having been diagnosed with a fatal illness, he decided to undertake a therapy largely centered around humor.

 While no one would think humor as a panacea for all ills, it has been shown to be a very effective coping skills in many bad situations. Search some of the Internet Web sites on Humor. What did you learn that was most helpful about humor and stress?

Try your creativity by completing  the different scenarios.

 Think of an incident that has happened to you which you considered very stressful. Now write the same situation with different versions as follows:

1. As a catastrophe,

 2. As Soap Opera,

3. As a fairy tale,

4. As a satire,

5. As a slapstick comedy.

What did you learn that may assist you in handling stressful situations?

  1. Norman Cousins, Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the Patient, New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1979  

Email: Copyright 1998  [Robert Brehm]. All rights reserved.

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