The Performance Pro

Monday, April 04, 2011

When to Stop Laughing

April is humor month and I was preparing my newsletter on humor when one of history’s horrific devastations took place in Japan. I guess it could be titled: A day that laughter stopped. One might say the same of 9/11—yet we now know of stories where in the midst of the dust and smoke & nightmare of those trying to survive, there are stories of displays of humor by victims. We know historically it’s not uncommon EMT’s to release a humorous comment at scenes of horrific accidents. In tragedies so unimaginable, the psychological release of ‘a funny’ somehow helps them to cope and continue to function. There are times when laughter stops—out of respect for another, out of despair, and out of a heavy heart of the human condition. Likewise, combined with good judgment and kindness, there are times when an appropriate humorous observation might be just what the doctor ordered.

Laughter is a gift we’ve been given. It helps us to relieve pain, stress, to cope, heal. Ironically, Japan has been a global leader in using laughter yoga to promote workplace wellness—with many organizations starting their workday with 15 minutes of laughter exercise.

Japanese medical research supports the belief and has been pursuing the possibilities that one may even be able to change their DNA through laughter. Therapeutic laughter will undoubtedly play a role to aid this nation in coping with their suffering and in their psychological and physical healing.

"A smile is the first step of a recovering heart."


  • At 7:49 PM, Blogger Collette Schultz said…

    My mother was recently put into a nursing home. A few months prior, we were at the house and I had the priviledge of seeing her and dad enjoy a night of laughter that I will always keep in my mind. It was true enjoyment to hear it. It would be wonderful to know that she too keeps hearing that laughter when she's there now.


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