I know I sound like Sally Field when I say, “You like me! You really like me!” but I’ve got to tell you, that’s absolutely how I felt when I got the news that my alma mater – the Sinclair School of Nursing, my beloved Mizzou – has decided to honor me with a Certificate of Merit. Thrilled doesn’t even begin to express my emotional state – it’s awesome, inspiring, and humbling all at once.
Nursing school changed my life. You walk into those classes thinking you know a little something about health care – and then your eyes are opened to all the amazing, amusing, and yes, awe-inspiring things that nurses do every single day. The lessons I learned while working on my Master’s at Mizzou have served me well, through every day of my nursing career and beyond.
The research I was able to do in those early days, my first tentative explorations into the connection between health and humor, were successful and bore fruit due to the encouragement and support I received at that time. Mizzou’s commitment to holistic patient care, embodying the need to care for our patient’s physical, emotional, and social needs, set a standard in the nursing education field well worthy of emulation.
My time at Mizzou was wonderful, and I can’t wait to go back. In just a few days, I’ll be there to say in person what I’m about to say now: Thank you. Thank you so much!
April is National Humor Month – great news if you’re interested in finding health & wealth through laughter! Here are five fun ways to celebrate National Humor Month:
1. Movie Night: Host a Comedy Film Festival in your home, devoted to the movies that make you laugh the most. Here’s a list of the American Film Institute’s 100 Funniest Films for some classic laugh.
2. Phone a (Funny!) Friend: Remember the college roommate who could always crack you up? What about the co-worker you loved to laugh with before they moved onto a new job? Keeping your funny friendships alive has serious long term mental and emotional health benefits. A touch base call or email is a simple way to put a smile on both of your faces!
3. Learn Laughter Yoga: Laughter is more than fun – it’s exercise! Laughter yoga combines enjoying humor with basic moves to boost your circulation and energy while lowering your blood pressure and stress levels. Here’s a simple exercise to get you started.
4. Scavenger Hunt! Grab your favorite friends and organize a scavenger hunt. Create a list of funny items and see who can gather the most of them within an agreed-up time limit. Reward the winner with a prize of incredible value (may we recommend the stylish glasses shown above?)
5. Take The 24 Hour Challenge: Resolve to find something to laugh about every single day. Level up by sharing what made you laugh with someone else that day. It’s the easiest way to build your Humor Habit. After a month, you’ll be a practiced Humor Appreciator!
Mickey Rooney was a short man – 5′ 2″ at his tallest – but he was truly one of the giants of comedy. It is very sad that he’s left us – although from what I hear, his next booking is on one of the best stages EVER – and I’d like to take this moment to talk about the laughter lessons he taught us all.
Mickey Rooney taught us it was okay to laugh at ourselves. He was a very lovable guy – so lovable that 8 different women married him. 7 of those women later divorced him, and Mickey provided the world with a great example of processing pain through laughter. His jokes about his many marriages included:
“Always get married in the morning. That way if it doesn’t work out, you haven’t wasted the whole day.”
“When I say “I do”, the Justice of the Peace replies, “I know, I know”. I’m the only man in the world whose marriage license reads, “To Whom it May Concern”.
It’s important to note that there’s a difference between laughing at your own behavior and laughing at your self. Mickey walked a fine line, reserving the majority of his humor for his behavior rather than his identity. “I was a thirteen year old boy,” he once said, “for thirty years!” When you use humor yourself, especially self-depreciating humor, make sure to keep the focus on your behaviors (which can be changed!) rather than your identity (which can’t!) This is good for your emotional well-being in the long run.
Finally, one of America’s funniest men wasn’t afraid to take himself seriously. He considered himself important and worthy of regard, which is something we should all be doing: