The more you leap, the more you laugh
It’s often said that timing is everything in comedy. Well if that’s the case, February may just be the funniest month of the year. Let’s face it, as the shortest in a family of 12, February knows a thing or two about being different in an endearing way. Throw in a groundhog, the Super Bowl and some goofy car dealership ads featuring Abe Lincoln, and it’s plain to see Valentine’s Day hasn’t cornered the market on February love. 2020 is even more special because the stars and calendars are realigning to give us a special treat – February 29th. The perfect reminder to take a leap outside our comfort zone this leap year to find the humor in everyday life.
As Secretary of the The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH), I’ve seen how laughter can change lives. It’s worth the effort to find humor when things aren’t going your way. Believe it or not, humor has a way of hiding in places you least expect it. That’s a big part of what makes seemingly mundane situations suddenly turn into a laugh worth remembering. But it rarely happens on its own. Which is why embracing the leap in Leap Day is a great way to learn how to break out of your shell and connect with others through humor.
One of my favorite things to do is spend time with my improv comedy group. Like most people, I was a little shy at first. But the more I learned to remove the boundaries that were holding me back, the more fun I had. Confidence is a tricky thing. It may not grow on trees but it does grow with practice. It’s a matter of pushing yourself without worrying about failure because no matter what, the people you’re with will still be on your side. Plus you never know unless you try.
Fun fact: I was on the gameshow Jeopardy. Even though I lost (to one of the game’s greatest players, ahem), it’s among one of my all-time favorite memories. I had to get further out of my comfort zone than ever before and there was joy in the journey. Through all of the tests, auditions, and playing, I learned an invaluable lesson. I belonged there. If I never tried, I never would have known how much fun it would be.
That’s why I encourage people in my improv group to “go bigger, go stranger and go sillier.” Push the envelope! In the end, your personality is going to reveal itself either way.
If your psoriasis has you reverting into your shell, remember that you can use humor to take that leap. When you’re feeling awkward or uncomfortable about your psoriasis symptoms – that flaky, red and itchy skin – cracking a joke can give you the nerve and confidence to engage in social situation. Why not have some fun showing people who you really are?
That leap you take may not win you Olympic gold in the long jump, but you’ll still come out ahead by leaving your comfort zone. Your comfort zone grows bigger and better if you’re willing to try something new. So embrace this Leap Day with everything you’ve got. Here’s hoping it inspires more laughter and joy for you all year long. And for more tools and tricks to keep the giggling going and for using humor to help cope with everyday realities of psoriasis, please visit the Humor Report.