I recently attended a workshop by Dr. Matt Bellace at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. He was recommended by a parent as a potential speaker on substance abuse at the school my children attend and just so happened to be speaking at Lynn, which is only a few miles from our school. So I and another PTA Board Member volunteered to go and see his presentation to determine if his material and presentation style would be a good fit for our students.
As luck would have it, the day of his workshop turned out to be one of those days from hell when just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong. His presentation was scheduled for 7 pm. I was tired, and to add insult to injury, it had rained heavily the entire day, which didn't do much to boost my motivation or mood. As 6 pm rolled around, I was on the verge of canceling, thinking I'd really rather follow my stress-relieving advise (just say no) than listen to a workshop on substance abuse geared toward college students. But I had already committed to go, so I put a halt to my pity party and went-- thank goodness!
Not only was it not a workshop about substance abuse, his material was so funny, I actually left feeling refreshed and energized--the exact opposite of what I felt when I walked in. How did that happen? I laughed ... a lot.
Dr. Bellace is not only a clinical neuropsychologist, he's a stand-up comedian. How do those two professions fit together? Quite well actually.
Dr. Bellace's message is about getting high naturally, and he uses humor to get people to see that natural highs are better choices than chemical highs. He notes that one of the purest forms of natural highs is laughter--both giving and receiving it.
Here are a few facts and insights Dr. Bellace shares about the power of laughter.
So why not try it? What can it hurt (aside from your face)?
Laugh as hard and as often as possible. Watch comedies, Read funny books. Share funny stories. Go see your favorite comedian. Create your own comedy night with friends. Surround yourself with funny people. It will lift your spirits, reduce your stress, and boost your energy.
For more information about natural highs, check out Dr. Bellace's book, A Better High: How Eating, Laughing and Other Stuff Can Get You High Naturally, Everyday, 2nd Ed. 2011 (New Jersey: Winter Oak Press).
© 2011 Sherrie Bourg Carter, All Rights Reserved
Sherrie Bourg Carter is the author of High Octane Women: How Superachievers Can Avoid Burnout (Prometheus Books, 2011).