How to solve the stressful equations of life?
Rather like a stack of dominoes, once the bankers of Wall Street unleashed their economic ills onto an uncertain world, piece by piece, the world's economy started to collapse. Eventually, the unstoppable force reached the common man. But there were considerable knock-on effects on individuals, resulting in mounting stress levels.
Living in such unpredictable times evokes feelings of anxiety or even fear. There is a solution within each of us, but none of us knows what we're capable of until a crisis hits.
Of all the tools to combat depression and negativity, humour is by far the best medicine - for both patient and doctor! Television and radio are both under-rated as purveyors of exactly this kind of medicine, no data ever being collected on the numbers of sick people made to feel appreciably better by switching-on at home and laughing uncontrollably at the comic of the day. From the comedians of yesteryear like Laurel and Hardy or Jack Benny, to Tommy Cooper or that special brand of comedian today like Jackie Mason who use ethnicity to make us laugh - we all have our favourites. By watching other people's mishaps, we laugh and feel instantly better.
But, is there a scientific reason for this? Here are a few examples:
Humour combats fear
Posted by: Uticopa in worrying, anxiety on
Feb 03, 2009
When we reach that point in life when the middle years have passed, would we have done things differently if we had somehow gained the wisdom that comes from learning from our own mistakes?
They say that education is wasted on the young. When we are adolescent, suffused by swirling hormones and an intolerable need to impress our peers, how can we concentrate on learning those school subjects that will be so essential to our future life? How to show due diligence at schoolwork when the very act of striving for perfection brings a swathe of disdain and criticism from the very peers we so want to impress? We listen to school friends who say ‘why do I need to learn French? I'll never need that - I want to be a train-driver'.
The very fact of being a child, by definition, means that you can't possibly know or envisage a future, mature, life where unforeseen opportunities abound and hitherto undreamed of possibilities may require you to use those very skills that you disparaged so long ago.
All are agreed. 2008 was a terrible year. Woolworth's has gone, stock markets have crashed, house prices have collapsed and we're all a little poorer. To pile on the agony, it's making us feel old and ever more weary. Any one of these things is enough to send us into a spiral of depression leading to the very nadir of despair.
But help is at hand.
Hot off the presses is a book called ‘Pensioners in Paradis' by Olga Swan. It relates the story of how a couple reach that fork in the tree of life called retirement. They had lived their whole lives in the West Midlands - a place endemic with self-deprecation, pessimism and laconicism. And then disaster struck. Read what the Connexion, a national newspaper in France, had to say when they reviewed the book in December: