GET MORE LAUGHTER IN YOUR LIFE!
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IN THIS ISSUE
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1. WELCOME FROM THE PUBLISHER
Due to a change in servers and a possible techno-glitch, not
all of you may have received last monthís issue. If you
didnít you can view it by going to www.psychocomic.com/Newsletter.htm
****Humor and Props****
Roy Reynolds, a student life counselor from Cowley College in Arkansas City, Kansas, sent in this idea on using humor and props:
I have found that props can be a great reframing tool. I was asked recently to present to the Cowley College Returning Student Organization on the topic of balancing family, school, and work. I decided that the metaphor of juggling fit well here. In order to get into the spirit of the presentation, I actually took up learning to juggle one week before the presentation. My fumbling attempts at keeping the three balls in the air (they represented family, school, and work, of course) were an effective ice-breaker, and helped to demonstrate that even the expert is still learning. And to their credit, the group refrained from all comments regarding old dogs and new tricks.
Thank you for your continued efforts to keep us mindful of
the comic within.
****Come Have A Laugh!****
My stand-up comedy shows continue at Cafe Madeleine, 3763
West 10th Ave., Vancouver. Clean, intelligent comedy in a smoke-free
environment, Fridays at 8:00 p.m. Reservations recommended (604)
224-5558. Bring in this newsletter and buy one entree, get second
for 50% off. Opening the show are students from my Langara College
Stand-Up Comedy Clinic Course.
If youíve ever had a dream to do comedy, my 8-week
Stand-Up Comedy Clinic Course at Langara College starts on the
evenings of Feb. 13 and 14 (Iím running 2 sections this
term). To register call Langara at 323-5322, course #104101.
To see testimonials from people who have taken the course go
2. WHY DO PROPS WORK?
A couple of issues ago I wrote about the use of props, in this case giggle balls (soft balls that giggle when you throw them against something) and how they helped me transform the normally cold, sterile environment of a drug store into a friendly, warm place.
But why is this? How come when they see giggle balls (or other props like rubber chickens, Groucho glasses, etc.) people who are normally reserved all of a sudden want to laugh and strike up a conversation?
As a therapist, I spend a lot of time working with defense mechanisms. These are behaviors, usually learned years ago, which protect us from being hurt or rejected by others. Some defense mechanisms are healthy and necessary, while others are outdated and self-sabotaging. These mechanisms develop as responses to otherís behaviors, and most eventually become automatic. Think of them as akin to an anti-virus computer program. Whenever the program is confronted by certain stimulus it has been programmed to recognize as hostile, it reacts in a protective fashion.
When our defenses are confronted by a stranger trying to make conversation, the caution flag immediately goes up, since they recognize this as a potentially dangerous situation. However, our defense mechanisms have no programming against rubber chickens or giggle balls. Nothing in our memory banks recognizes these objects as harmful or emotionally damaging.
As a matter of fact, props trigger off another program recognizing them as objects associated with happiness and fun. And this happiness program temporarily overrides our defense mechanisms, and now weíre ready to laugh and play.
And my guess is that if you did an MRI scan of the brain youíd see different kinds of brain activity when the subject was confronted with a stranger trying to strike up a conversation versus a stranger with a rubber chicken.
So the long and short of it is that people have all sorts
of defense mechanisms against you, but nothing to protect against
props. Which is why one of the best ways to reach out and connect
with someone quickly is to put on a pair of Groucho glasses or
pick up a rubber chicken.
For other free articles about laughter go to www.psychocomic.com/Articles.htm
For free back issues of this ezine go to www.psychocomic.com/Newsletter.htm
*****GET MORE LAUGHTER IN YOUR LIFE!*****
3. WHAT'S GOOD STORIES
Itís so easy to see all the bad things around us, that sometimes we forget about all the great things that go on. And we need to hear about good things because that gives us hope and inspires us to go out and do more good things.
In this section, I want to hear from you. Whatís happened in your life thatís good? What things have people done that inspire you to be kind to others? What funny things have happened?
Email your short stories to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and if I publish yours, you get a free copy of my tape "Iím OK But YOU Need Professional Help!"
This month we have two stories. The first is from Kimberly Hancock of the Western Health Care Corporation in Corner Brook, Newfoundland:
I am a medical Librarian and I bring humour into the workplace through my humour board. I have a bulletin board in our hospital library dedicated solely to jokes and cartoons. We scan the Internet and magazines for good cartoons (most medically related) to post there. We change them on a regular basis to keep it new. Working in health care, the staff can have a tendency to be stressed out. The word has spread about our bulletin board and some people come in just to read the cartoons and have a good chuckle - then send their co-workers along to check it out!
Sometimes, if something is particularly appropriate, we send it directly to that department. For example, we sent the following cartoon to the emergency department:
"ER the Musical"
They loved it! Keep smiling,
Joy Knudson of Everett, Washington submitted the second story:
I was leaving the bumper-to-bumper parking lot of a very busy,
very overheated store one afternoon, thankful to be done with
my errands and on my way home. Slowly edging to the exit, I noticed
a young woman struggling to get a box out of her shopping cart
and into the trunk of her car. It was at least 8' long and about
2' wide. She was trying to tip it up to get enough leverage to
push it towards her trunk, but the far end of the package was
caught on the "lip" of the cart and her efforts were
futile as the cart kept sliding away from her. It crossed my
mind that all she needed was someone to steady the cart and help
slide the package back an inch or two, and then physics would
take over. But, after all, I wasn't walking nearby her so that
helping would be convenient, I was in my car going home, and
surely she would manage eventually or one of the parking lot
Just then an elderly man, easily close to 90, drove slowly towards me, looking for a parking space. He, too, spied the young woman. He stopped his car in mid-lane, slowly climbed out while waving an apology to the cars behind him, then went to offer his assistance to the young lady.
I hope that all of us watching that scene experienced the
same lump-in-the-throat that I did, seeing his charming kindness.
Small vignettes like this have a bigger purpose than just helping
one person - they help all of us remember to be a little kinder,
a little better.
AN OPPORTUNITY TO HELP
If anyone has a good cause theyíd like to promote please email me at email@example.com
Chris Newell of Vancouver, B.C., wrote: Here is the cause that I totally believe in and would like to promote.
I became a Big Sister over 10 years ago, and while the contract is officially terminated, my little sister and I are STILL friends. She is now 23 years old...man, where does the time go? We have had a rocky and wonderful ride together as she took the journey through adolescence into young adulthood. A great kid...er...woman...and I am honoured to have had the opportunity to be her Big Sister!
4. CLASSIFIED ADS
Speakers/Presenters: Learn how to incorporate stand-up
comedy into your presentations. Check out Davidís stand-up
comedy skills coaching for presenters at: www.psychocomic.com/ComedyCourse.htm
5. CONTACT INFORMATION
David Granirer gives laughter in the workplace presentations helping hundreds of organizations throughout North America reduce stress, increase wellness, and cope with change. For more information on his presentations, stand-up comedy, products, and articles call (604) 205-9242 or go to www.psychocomic.com
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