Laughter Really is the Best Medicine

My video collection is inexplicable, unless you understand its purpose.  The only movies I actually purchase to keep are those which are safe and make me laugh.  I know no one dies, there is no violence, no animals are killed or harmed in the viewing of this movie and it makes me laugh.

Now I have a fairly warped sense of humor, but that’s OK.  These movies are not for other people.  They are for me.  When I’m going through a stressful period, when I’ve been exposed to too much pain at work, when I’ve heard too many horrifying details of the trauma some of my clients have experienced, when I’m too tired to think, or when I’m feeling really down I put in one of these movies.  I know the lines by heart.  I know nothing awful is going to flash on the screen.  I know they are not going to scare me or make me sad.  I count on them to comfort me and make me laugh.  They are one of the forms of self soothing I use.  I can be very serious and focus on the negative too much and this provides balance.  I use DVDs of stand up comedy the same way.  But I forget to mention this.   In some ways it seems too simple, and it is.  But it works.   


I’ve found this same technique works for clients.  One woman was going through a very painful divorce which left her racked with grief.  She sobbed and sobbed, which is good.  She needed to get it out and I would never want to thwart the expression of feelings or use any method to deny them.  Feelings are to be felt.  But sometimes you’ve felt all you can and need a break from the pain.  This client had a favorite old comedy series that she had watched as a child.  Fortunately, these days, you can buy these old favorites in complete sets.  She did.  And she watched one show after another as a way of comforting herself.  It worked.  It soothed the heartache of her loss and enabled her to face the world again. 

If you don’t have such a collection you might want to think about starting one.  It’s important to remember that you are buying these for you.  What makes each of us laugh is very individual and personal. 

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