Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Rendezvous Writer’s Conference in Boise. I also enjoyed the opportunity to speak on a panel with Bruce Ballenger about the ins and outs of writing how-to and creative non-fiction.

My favorite aspect of the whole weekend was hearing keynote speaker Laurie Notaro, bestselling author of numerous books, including her most recent, It Looked Different on the Model. In a nutshell, she was hilarious. A humor writer, she definitely lives up to her “paper” image in person!

I found her so endearing that I also attended her workshop on how to integrate humor in your writing. One of her recommendations that really resonated with me was finding the humor in any situation, whether at your own expense or someone else’s.  She takes a notebook with her everywhere she goes to write down the “little stuff” that might become a big ‘ole funny story.

Though I hope to embrace some of her humor techniques in my writing, my bigger aspiration is viewing the world through a humorous lens more often, much as she suggested. After all, there are many ways in which laughter can improve your health.

According to HealthGuide.org, these include:

The Benefits of Laughter

Physical

Mental

Social

  • Boosts Immunity
  • Lowers stress hormones
  • Decreases pain
  • Relaxes your muscles
  • Prevents heart disease
  • Adds joy and zest to life
  • Eases anxiety and fear
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves mood
  • Enhances resilience
  • Strengthens relationships
  • Attracts others to us
  • Enhances teamwork
  • Helps defuse conflict
  • Promotes group bonding

As I mentioned in a recent keynote speech on work/life balance, we often create our own dramas in our professional and personal lives, enduring all the stress that accompanies it, throwing our lives completely off kilter. I have experienced this predicament over the past six weeks — buying and selling a home, moving into (and back out of) temporary living, packing, cleaning and losing a lot of hours of sleep. Though I would argue that some dramas were created for me, I certainly produced a few of my own.

What if we approached stressful situations and created satire instead of a sorrowful soliloquy? What if we transformed the seemingly mundane into belly busters? What if we simply smiled instead of frowning? I have been doing my best all week to envision myself drinking a beer on the porch of my new house, laughing about the sellers who wouldn’t fix our garage doors, the buyers who wanted to inspect and re-inspect our home, the mortgage broker who told us about a 1% origination fee two weeks before closing, all the boxes, my couch-less living room – and actually trying to live a life somewhere in between. Where’s the laughter when you really need it?

But seriously, though I’ll never be as funny as Laurie, I can still learn to take life in stride. Relax and let things go. Know that it will all work out in due time. Be patient.

And, most importantly, laugh!

P.S. Maybe I’ll write another post on the lovingly laughable aspects of moving – after we move!

About the author

Melinda is a marketer, researcher and writer. She also has a passion for healthy living, every day.