2020 vision – it’s all in how you see it
Happy 2020! If there’s one time of year where we need more than 24 hours in the day, it’s this one—as we end one year and begin another. Between Christmas, Hanukkah, holiday parties, shopping, New Year’s Eve etc., there’s been a lot going on out there. Of course it’s up to you to make the most of it. Fortunately, you’ve got a secret weapon on your side – your sense of humor. It doesn’t matter how good you’ve been, you won’t get a better gift than that. As the President of AATH (Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor), I never tire of showing people how embracing humor can influence life in a wide variety of positive ways. It really does come down to how you look at things. And with the beginning of a new year upon us, it’s time to get that 2020 vision of yours in focus. Afterall, without great vision, you run the risk of complimenting your colleague on their ugly holiday sweater when they’re just wearing… a sweater.
Think about the best times you had this year. Chances are your sense of humor was involved. That’s because laughter can help us relieve stress and gain positive perspective. And that’s the key here. Positivity has a funny way (pun intended) of helping us find the joy in each moment. Whether it’s making good times great or challenging times better. Sure, having psoriasis is never going to be fun, and even if it were it would probably be spelled “pfun” – I still don’t get the silent ‘p’. I just wish I had it when I used the office restroom.
But even if psoriasis isn’t fun, (or pfun) it doesn’t mean you can’t find things about it that are funny. Do that and any stress and anxiety you feel can at least temporarily be replaced by a smile. Humor and psychological distress can’t occupy space in our brains at the same time. No matter what you’re facing. I’ve seen humor lift the spirits of those suffering from serious medical conditions, drug and alcohol problems, chronic stress, and depression. When you focus on the good instead of the bad, things have a way of improving, but if it’s hard to find the good then start with finding the funny.
Consider one of the struggles you went through this year. Now, rather than dwell on it, think of it as a learning moment. Was there something funny about it you didn’t see at the time? No matter how much we hurt, there are things we can do to feel better. The next time you find yourself feeling down about your psoriasis, take a step back and inject a little humor into the situation. Name your next flare-up after your favorite movie villain. Or tell your date that the good news is you were so excited to see her/him that it gave you goose bumps, but the bad news is, you’re allergic to geese. The more comfortable you are with yourself, the more others will be comfortable with you. It’s simply a matter of being the best imperfect you that you can be. That’s a 2020 vision anyone can appreciate.
Just remember to keep a Funny Journal so you can record the funniest part of each day. Research has shown that writing down three funny things at the end of each day can decrease depressive symptoms and boost happiness up to 6 months.
Make this practice part of your bigger, broader vision. A year from now you’ll be able to use it as a humor time capsule for you to gain more laughs and “pfun” in 2021.
Think you’ve got what it takes to pass the 2020 vision test? Take a look at the chart below and see if you can find the key to finding joy in life.