A personal pep rally won’t do it. Neither will a big dose of positive thinking. Instead, we have to bring our whole self to the change situation. It’s that sense of HOPE that was the overarching theme in my research results. Hope is what propelled people out of the mire of change and into the light of a new way of living. And it was a sense of HUMOR that fueled that HOPE. So the good news is that it IS possible to laugh even during the most difficult of changes—if we change how we see ourselves and our capabilities. The most effective and integrative way to do this is by cultivating our sense of humor.
Humor is what gives us a sense of being IN CONTROL of life’s changes and challenges. As my original qualitative research Living Between the Extremes has shown, when we can laugh at a problem or difficult situation, it loses its power. Suddenly we feel more capable and hopeful, healthy and purposeful. It really IS that simple. But not if we don’t know how to steer our humor in the right direction.
During the past 15 years in the humor industry, I have realized that humor is more than just stand-up comedy. That is only one facet. Other types of humor–written, acted-out, or merely laughed–are also very powerful forms of healing very specific situations. When we incorporate the entire person, we can address the change-resistance that is sometimes deeper than our minds and willpower can handle.
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