Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

9 Ways Humor Heals


I wrote this post awhile back, and Beliefnet featured it as a gallery. 

Of all my tools to combat stress-especially the stress of dealing with my illness or someone else’s–humor is by far the most fun. And just like mastering the craft of writing, I’m finding that the longer I practice laughing at life (especially at its frustrations) the better I become at it, and the more situations and conversations and complications I can place into that category named “silly.”


G. K. Chesterton once wrote: “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.” And Proverbs 17:22 says that “a happy heart is good medicine.” I’d add that human beings and their caretakers can heal and find joy again if they learn how to laugh. Here are just a few ways a dose of humor might transform something ugly and stressful to slightly entertaining, and, well, a tad less catastrophic.

Continue reading by clicking here.

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  • Carolyn

    Enjoyed the gallery, the photos and the advice, and was particularly amused by the typo (or was it a joke? or a Freudian slip?) in the section “Humor Reduces Pain.” As written:
    “After surgery, patients were told one-liners prior to administration of potentially painful medication. The patients exposed to humor perceived less pun as compared to patients who didn’t receive humor stimuli.”
    Did they perceive less “pun” or less “pain”?
    Or is it me who’s not getting the “pun”?

  • Melzoom

    LOL Carolyn! I laughed at that, too.
    And it was good to laugh.
    Thanks, Therese.
    I think a bunch of BBers (especially in the forum) need a bit of humor therapy.

  • Anonymous

    In othe words, all that work time at the computer spent reading and forwarding jokes is actually NOT counterproductive? Somehow I fear few employers would buy into that defense.

  • Liz

    Hi Therese!
    I have followed your blog for over a year and I identify with so much of your story. I too suffer from anxiety, OCD and an eating disorder. I do suffer from depression from time to time as well but not to the point of debilitation. My anxiety however can be debilitating.
    I am almost finished reading your book and all I have to say is WOW! I love it! I have just recently discovered that my anxiety isn’t my fault and that no matter how I try different techniques to “think my way out of it”…it still randomly happens for no apparent reason. Two months ago, I began taking my very first anti-anxiety med and I must say….I feel like a new person! It is so comforting to know it isn’t my fault and that my neurotransmitters are getting their signals crossed and not sending the right messages to my adrenal glands.
    I have a few family members who are bipolar and your book has helped me so much in understanding what they are really going thru. I have been known to be judgmental and hard on them in the past (behind their backs) but not anymore thanks to your book.
    Thank you for writing your book!

  • Peggy

    I have just finished reading your book, Beyond Blue, and was really inspired and helped. I am much older than you are, but went through a lot of the same things – being scrupulous about Catholicism, afraid to try anything and be a people pleaser, which I still am. Being mentally ill is often a very lonely road. Like you, I have been to so many doctors, some really bad.
    I hope you will follow up on this book. It is such a great peace to know you are not alone.

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