Author Laurie Finkelstein believes that humor can be found in most dire situations if we take the time to think and not just react.
There are many ways to alleviate pain and improve your health even when the diagnostic sounds scary. Some of the first things that come to your mind are probably pills, surgery, a healthy diet, or more rest. But one remedy that can work wonders, especially for people suffering from depression and anxiety, is a good humor book. And that’s because humor is as crucial as vitamin D to your wellbeing. Laurie Finkelstein, the author of the award-winning romantic comedy “Next Therapist Please,” knows best.
Diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and OCD, Laurie chose to support her doctor’s efforts as well as help other people with a similar condition by tapping into the healing power of laughter and humor.
“When faced with difficult situations, negative thoughts automatically fill my head causing anxiety. Humor helps me reframe my thought process and diffuse the impact of negativity. It’s not a cure-all by any means, but like looking for the silver lining in adversity, humor allows me to literally shift my thoughts into a positive slant. As the mind goes, the emotion will follow. Even if it takes days. I do not give up!” says Finkelstein who never misses a chance to practice finding the funny during duress.
Fake It Till You Make It
Although there is nothing funny about depression, the saying “fake it till you make it” applies. Scientists have proven that our bodies don’t differentiate between fake and real laughter. Fake smiles and fake laughter can help you mitigate it when it spirals out of control. The writer explains that, although her depression doesn’t magically disappear, humor diminishes the depths of despair allowing her the opportunity to employ a barrage of mood-enhancing activities.
It’s up to you to discover the tools that match your personality. Paying attention to the little things that bring happiness, making note of them, and repeating them when you really want to stay in bed and hide can also be a game-changer.
Finding Happiness Is A Choice
When you choose to see the silver lining or humor in every situation, you choose happiness and make it easier for the body to cope with your condition. You can be happy despite dealing with depression and anxiety. Laurie Finkelstein is the living proof and so is Jane Weiss, the main character in her book. They find humor everywhere.
“Look for humor in books to read, movies to watch. I play inappropriately funny games. I watch or listen to my favorite comedians. You can find humor in children running around the place, in skits pertaining to children on YouTube. I find humor in my cat when he sleeps so deeply he falls off the arm of my chair. I’m a sucker for slapstick. Watching reruns of Seinfeld will get me laughing and even if temporary, I feel better. Every bit makes a difference,” says Finkelstein. As for Jane Weiss, she shakes and stirs cocktails like nobody else and see one therapist after another.
Laurie Finkelstein recommends working with a therapist a great way to practice reframing thoughts and finding the specific activities holding the power to lift your mood.
Laughter Makes You Healthier
There is so much to laughter than keeping out of the funk.
“There are at least ten health benefits from laughing. The giggles will reduce stress hormones, boost the immune system, increase blood oxygen, and regulate blood pressure. There is no such thing as a laughing diet, but belly busting guffaws activate muscles deep inside the body and burns calories which in my mind translates to exercise,” explains Laurie Finkelstein who exercises several times daily.
She believes that, from head to toe, humor has a direct impact on our overall good health. “Forget about eating apples and start watching funny videos, comedians, cartoons, or whatever tickles your tonsils. I say a good laugh a day keeps the blues away,” she laughs.
Smashing the Mental Stigma One Laugh at a Time
A woman of several talents like painting and advocating, Laurie Finkelstein took up fiction writing not only to express her gift but also help people and smash the mental stigma one laugh at a time. She champions those with mental illness to break the stigma and donates 10% of the gross sales or her books to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
The award-winning “Next Therapist Please” is a great summer read that will delight romantic comedy fans and insightful contemporary fiction novels aficionados alike. The freshness and novelty of this book will keep you turning the pages and follow Janie Weiss on her incredible journey to overcoming mental illness and finding love again.