Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Laughter and a bad memory will help you beat stress.

I was reading this month’s Woman’s World magazine, when I came across a little snippet in the front of the issue where they list random tips. The tips can range from household to beauty, to anything you can imagine.

This weeks’ list included a tip about managing stress by laughing at it. They cited the journal of Anxiety Stress and Coping as a basis for this tip.

I know the benefits of laughter as a stress reliever, but this seemed a little overly simplistic to me. You can’t solve all problems be laughing at them, I thought. Plus that’s one way to really get in trouble with management at work. Laughing at the boss is generally NOT a good idea.

But I was curious about this, so I tried it. Trying it on a Monday was the perfect test.

Darn it if it didn’t work! Not exactly as I expected, It certainly didn’t solve anything, it just helped my attitude. I didn’t have to meet each stressor with a huge guffaw, just an inner chuckle was enough to change my outlook.

When the man came in with his large list of orders that he sped through, without taking a breath, all the while holding his money out, seeming annoyed when I wasn't following as fast as he was ordering, I just smiled.

When the really high-maintenance lady came in who likes the whipped cream for her third-caf mocha on the side, in a separate cup, like she always does, I chuckled to myself.

I laughed and calmly switched the trash bag which one lady dumped her entire Venti coffee in it after putting the wrong creamer in it. Because what else would you do with it? [My boyfriend insists that this isn’t all that clear].

When the lady who doesn’t acknowledge me, because apparently I am invisible to her; I laughed to myself, very pleased with my newfound shape-shifting abilities

Ordinarily the combined angst of these individual annoyances would have put me in a none-too-pleasant mood. These things would have momentarily bugged me, and I would have given them more space in my brain than they deserved; ruminating over them and getting annoyed over and over again.

But today I was laughing at them and forgetting about them.


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