People seem to be so easily offended these days. I think it’s due to stress, and we are clearly living in Stressful times! I happened to be talking to an incredibly wise woman the other day who told me that her remedy for all the stress and tension in the world was to try to find humor whenever possible.

Hurricane Isaias
We had a Hurricane roll through town recently. We spent two days preparing for it at home and my office. My home fared better than my office building, as you can see from my office sign out front. It’s not supposed to look like a flag. Also, a big part of our fence was knocked down, and some other signs damaged as well. My dear husband said to me as we drove up after the storm, “Hey Honey, remember how you said you didn’t like your office signs and were thinking about updating them? Well I think the Hurricane has given you a chance to do that now.”

Huge Secret
Of course, not everything is funny when it first happens. But if you can find the humor and laugh in a stressful situation, you automatically lower your blood pressure, and become less upset. This is a huge secret to staying sane in life.

Life is short. Way shorter if we are occupied with problems, fears, doubts, and generally unhappy thoughts. Your emotions are created by your thoughts. To deal with the stress of life, it’s important to have self-confidence and be able to laugh at yourself. Let’s face it, there will be a lot of things you cannot change and the better your sense of humor, the better you’re going to feel about yourself and your life. Humor keeps us sane and gives us a sense of balance.

Remember when you were a kid? Well, we can learn from children because they stay in the moment and they love the absurdity of life. They do things for the sheer joy of it. They don’t care what others think. They do things simply to have fun.

Life is too short to not have some fun!
Give yourself the ability to play again. Begin the process of lightening up with these suggestions:

  • Even if you don’t consider yourself a good joke teller, tell a joke every day for the next 21 days. (It can be the same joke told to 21 different people). Allow yourself to enjoy telling jokes to make others laugh. The more you do it the better you will become. There is an art to telling stories or jokes that can bring out the kid within you and it’s fun to entertain others and make them laugh!
  • Watch funny television shows and funny movies. Life is serious enough without compounding it by watching drama, soaps, and the news.
  • Associate yourself with people who are funny, optimistic, and enjoy life.
  • Pretend you’re a writer for the any of the late-night TV shows that have humor, and look around you for humor everywhere. It’s there if you will look for it.
  • Allow yourself to have fun again. Do whatever you enjoy doing that allows you to have fun. You don’t have to impress anyone, and you can let that KID come out and just be in the moment to enjoy life.
  • Schedule down times in your life where you can just do what you feel like doing at the moment (when is the last time you gave this gift to yourself?).
  • Add Play to your life. It’s very important to put the world on hold and just have some fun. We are a society starved for play! Why is play important? Play brings us together, allows us to put the rest of the world on pause and encourages us to laugh. Research shows that a kindergartner laughs 300 times a day and an adult only 17 or less a day. Play is a basic need just like air, water and the five food groups (six if you count beer).
  • Know the power of the “off” button. We are increasingly addicted to conducting business with e–mail, smart phones, and tablets.

My play assignment to you: please take the time to remember the fun things you used to do. Don’t let stress-busting fun slip out of your life because you are so busy achieving goals, earning a living, running a business, raising a family, etc. Give yourself a break and do some fun stuff just for You today!

Lee Milteer

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