It's no surprise that the month containing tax day is also National Stress Awareness Month. It may however, surprise some people to discover that April is also National Humor Month. It doesn't surprise the Laugh Doctor, Clifford Kuhn, M.D. a nationally recognized psychiatrist, public speaker and life strategy guru.
âI don't consider it accidental that stress and humor should be closely linked. While they appear to be polar opposites, the two have much in common,â stated Dr. Kuhn. âMy work over the past 35 years with the natural medicine of humor has uncovered the primary culprit behind unhealthy stress symptoms, as well as the key to simple, healthy stress management.â
Stress-related illnesses and suffering is at an all time high in this country. According to Dr. Kuhn, the cause of painful stress symptoms is: seriousness. He suggests incorporating the following three steps into everyone's daily routine to put more fun back into life:
Step One: It All Starts with a Smile
âFortunately, we are all equipped with the finest possible stress management mechanism: the natural medicine of humor and the ability to laugh with ourselves. Count the number of times you smiled in the past hour. Don't feel like smiling? Then fake it. Your body's physiology won't know the difference and after a while your subconscious will take over and your mood will lighten effortlessly.â
Step Two: Choose to Motivate with Fun, not Fear
âWill you be inspired by fear or by fun? It is impossible to sustain fear-based behavior without breaking down or burning out, the issue becomes balance. Fun balances fear. The ultimate question is not, âAre you without fear?' but âIs your fun in balance with your fear?'â
Step Three: Tell the Truth
âGetting in the habit of telling yourself the truth will cement humor's powerfully positive effect over your stress. Your stress management becomes second nature when you are first honest with yourself each day.â
Dr. Kuhn is the author of The Fun Factor: Unleashing the Power of Humor at Home and on the Job. Among its 200 or so pages of strategies and techniques, readers will find such things as:
âLife is an improvisation. We have no script, few guidelines and no control over the outcome. That being true, the rules that lead to success in improvisation ought to also bring us more success in life. The three rules for successful improvisation are:
- Always accept the premise
- Always say âYes, andâ, not âYes, butâ
- Seek always to expand and elevate the premise.â
In addition to being an author, psychiatrist and medical school professor, Dr. Kuhn is a professional speaker and personal coach, helping individuals and groups enhance performance, productivity and health by creating and sustaining more fun. More information about the book, Dr. Kuhn's seminars and even a quiz to determine how well humor is reducing stress in your life, can be found at www.crcliffordkuhn.com.
âRemember, âAttitude Is Everything,' but don't get obsessive about it, as perfectism causes stress too. Be content with removing some of your stress, and taking the edge off, so that you function as a healthier, happier and more productive humor being,â Dr. Kuhn advises.