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Elizabeth Scott, M.S.

Need A Laugh? Let 'Someday' Be Today!

By April 8, 2013

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When I was a child, I would get embarrassed by things really easily. I was prone to stress, too, especially when things felt overwhelming. (What can I say? I'm sensitive.) As an adult, I've learned to manage these tendencies, but it has taken effort on my part. One idea helped me with the stress of frustration and embarrassment better than just about any other: the idea that "someday we'll look back on this and laugh".

I still remember when I first heard that phrase; I thought it was ridiculous. I couldn't imagine why I would laugh about something that had made me so upset. Then one day, a group of friends started doing just that: comparing embarrassing or comically bad experiences and laughing about them. From then on, this secretly became one of my favorite activities. (Hearing people share their stories as comedy, and having a group commiserate and lend support and acceptance may have been what made me realize I wanted to be a 'professional helper' in the first place.)

I gradually started thinking about difficult experiences as stories in the making, as potentially humorous anecdotes to save for an occasion when enough time had passed and laughter could replace stress. Then one day, I made an even bigger mental leap: why wait? Why not laugh about these difficult experiences right after they happen? Or while they're happening? From then on, I've been much more adept at letting my sense of humor get me out of the experience of stress.

I still love hearing stories that 'someday' should bring laughter (and therefore regularly find myself perusing the site FMyLife.com for just that purpose), and it's almost second nature for me to find humor in the really challenging situations I encounter in life.

What makes you laugh? How do you maintain your sense of humor in the face of stressful situations? Share your stories in the comments section, or pass this blog on using the 'share' button and share a laugh with your friends.

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Comments
August 16, 2010 at 6:49 am
(1) stress says:

Here’s another place on this site to share your funny and embarrassing stories, or your tips for laughing when you’re stressed. Post here or here:http://stress.about.com/u/ua/readerresponses/Laugh-How-People-Laugh-To-Release-Stress.htm

August 19, 2010 at 5:22 am
(2) diario21love says:

Hi: When I am in a stressful sitaution, like in a traffic jam, I try to think on a joke. I do not care about who is next to me or who is looking at me. Sometimes when I laugh all my body moves. I think people notice it and some may think that I am an idiot. But the thing is I have enjoyed the time being in traffic. In these difficult situations it is better not to focus on the things that increse your stress. we should try to thing about good things in our life. God bless and quack – quack

August 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm
(3) Ken says:

Laughter is one of the easiest, healthiest and cheapest remedies for any condition, disease or disorder.

If yo notice you usually feel a little lighter, happier and less stressed when you laugh.

The body actually secretes hormones during laughter that regulate mood. Try laughing a little more and worrying a little less.

April 15, 2013 at 3:58 pm
(4) gitoya says:

i’ve been laughing off my stress while learning these days

April 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm
(5) gitoya says:

I’ve been laughing off my stress away while learning

April 15, 2013 at 6:41 pm
(6) Beena khan says:

I just had an embarrassing incident and didn’t know how to deal with it until I read your article abou saying some day we will laught at it by looking back and I smilled instantly. Thanks for such an excellent advice. I am sharing this with all my friends.

July 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm
(7) CRETTMAN says:

Hi! I thought you might enjoy reading some of Erma Bombecks writings she is hilarious and has a way of doing just what you are talking about. I think you’ll get a huge kick out of her “perspective on things”.
Cheers!
Colleen

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