Shara Rendell-Smock has written more than
twenty computer software manuals, numerous newspaper
articles, including a monthly health column for The
She's the author of two books of non-fiction: Getting
Hooked: Fiction's Opening Sentences 1950's- 1990's
Living With Big Cats: The Story of Jungle Larry,
Safari Jane, and David Tetzlaff
For ordering information, click here.
To read more about these books, participate in an
ongoing joke contest, surf on over to
The author currently lives on Florida's Space Coast.
Shara has recently signed with a
New York Literary agency.
Humour and Health
"What the Experts Say"
- Part 2 of 5
This week I
asked some of the experts in
the field of therapeutic humor to tell me what they
consider most important.
"While we rarely have control over the events
that happen to us, we do have control over our response.
Stress is not the event itself, but rather, our reaction
or response to that event," says Karyn Buxman, a
former nursing educator.
For the past ten years Ms. Buxman has been a
professional speaker/author on therapeutic humor. Buxman
has videos and audios available on the subject, and has
co-edited a book, "Nursing Perspectives on
Humor." This serious look at the use of therapeutic
humor by and for the health professional can be ordered
via email or by calling 1- 800-8HUMORX.
"We have many tools available to us to deal with
the daily stressors we encounter such as time management
techniques, breathing exercises and muscle relaxation to
name a few. But let's not take for granted one of the
most beneficial healthy coping mechanisms available to
us: humor and laughter. It's available at no cost and
there's no limitations to the number of times it can be
used in a day."
People do gain the benefits when humor happens by
chance, but Ms. Buxman believes there are too many
benefits to wait for it to happen. Buxman would like to
see people regularly take an active role and make a
conscious effort to put more humor into their lives.
"Humor solidifies a group, improves productivity,
and empowers communication."
Mark Darby, mental health clinician and humorist,
emphatically says that humor is the most underrated
pathway to health.
"Its benefits are undisputed but its use is
actively discouraged in most areas where we live. It's
okay to laugh in comedy clubs or in your lazy boy. Laugh
at work and you are unproductive. Laugh at church and you
are disrespectful. But this ain't necessarily so."
Darby, author of the book Use It or Lose It: Humor
and the Treatment of Mental Illness, says humor
promotes health by:
- Reducing stress: We have all felt the relief
after a good laugh
- Providing proper perspective on tough times.
When you laugh you look at a problem differently
- Increasing oxygenation and circulation
throughout the body
- Augmenting the immune system to help fight colds
and flu and cancer
- Increasing the quality of life by adding
- Increasing socialization and enhancing
Darby says we need to become
more open to the humor around us. To meet this
goal daily, we can use his three R's of Humor:
Remind, Remember and Retell.
Remind yourself that you will look for
something humorous in your life. Remember
the humor when it occurs, and then commit to Retelling
what happened to someone else. These three R's
create the essential skills to utilizing humor in
our lives - Being open to the humor that occurs,
remembering what happened so we can recall it
later, and retelling the experience so that we
can share the humor with someone else.
The American Association for Therapeutic Humor
(AATH) will host a national conference the last
weekend in January (1/31-2/1) in Washington, D.C.
Some of the top leaders in the field of
therapeutic humor will be there.
And that's no joke.
This week's healthy humor picks:
American Association for Therapeutic Humor
If you want some laughs, go to the Joke
Contest page at my web site at www.rendell-smock.com
. But don't forget to come back here to read
other Sideroad writers' columns!
A Matter of Perspective
Does laughing make you feel better when
you're sick? Got any experiences to share? Or
jokes for next week? If so, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Back to the
top / The New Sideroad / Go to the latest column
Issue # 10
Tuesday, Jan. 6, 1998
1 of 5 - "Think You're Funny?" (A look
1 of 4 - how your mattress can make all the
Part 2 of 4 - strategies to help you
Part 3 of 4 - more strategies to
help you sleep.
Part 4 of 4 - what is a sleep log
and how does it work?
Stats indicate that for those over
the age of 50, one of every two women and one in eight
men will have an osteoporosis-related fracture. Our
sedentary lifestyle puts us at risk for this disease. Yet
osteoporosis is not inevitable. Here's some information
on this disease and how we can prevent it.
Part 1 of 4
- - details the likelihood of developing
this disease, and its dangers and consequences.
Part 2 of 4
- - presents the risk factors of
osteoporosis and some of our misconceptions about the
Part 3 of 4
- - insights into diagnosis, and basic
Part 4 of 4
- - new medical treatments to stop
osteoporosis, and safety in the home of osteoporosis
A Matter of Perspective