Learning to LAUGH

Joe: Good afternoon Calliope.

Calliope: Good afternoon, Joe. What have you been up to?

Joe: Two things. I am waiting as patiently as I can for my supply of Release Your Stress and Reclaim Your Life books from CreateSpace. In the meantime, I have been reading about publicity and marketing for the book. For a little change of pace, I am also republishing the paperback version of Navigating Life: Commonsense Reflections for the Voyage, now only available in eBook format. Hopefully I have finished that process and will have a proof soon.  I also ran across an article on the Internet about stress, laughter and art. Here is what it said and a little excerpt from my stress book.

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Art

Two women, an associate professor and an artist in England, developed a program incorporating humor and art as a way of coping with cancer. Here is what they are up to:

For a few seconds, the canvas remains blank. Then a thin line appears, followed by another, and slowly, a shape begins to form. Quiet music rises in the background and in the distance, the lull of waves swell to the surface. Blue paint splashes across the surface, tinged with the white churning of sea foam. A child laughs, a colorful beach ball appears. In a few minutes, an invisible hand has transformed the blank canvas into an idyllic beach. All from a TV screen in a patient waiting room.

The magic behind the living canvas is a product of the collaboration between Dr. Bonnie McGregor and local artist Catherine Mayer. McGregor is from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and an affiliate associate professor at the UW Department of Health Services. Mayer founded the LAUGH foundation (Letting Art Unleash Great Happiness). The two started their collaboration a couple of years ago with the goal of using art as a psychological intervention for healing.

See the full article here.  

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Alternate Ways to Express Yourself

Moore also talked about trying new ways to communicate if your normal channels are blocked, which they might well be under severe stress. People often try to explain away their stress or make excuses for being stuck.

He suggests that you try ways of communicating and expressing yourself other than your normal language. These ways might include storytelling, symbolism, metaphor, art and music. It’s at least worth a try. Normal conversation might be inadequate for expressing how you think and feel under great stress. You might not have words for what is happening to you.

Taking an alternate approach does not work the same way for everyone. I once knew two artists who had periodic trouble with serious depression. One found that he could only paint when he was in a state of depression. He had learned to transform the stress of his depression into artistic expression. The other artist could only produce his art when depression left him. During periods of depression he had to find other outlets and resources. Spending time on the lake in his sailboat helped him as did counseling and medication.

(Excerpt from Release Your Stress and Reclaim Your Life)

cover of release your stress

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