Humor Can Help to Heal Anxiety in Trying Times

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 28, 2001 | Go to article overview

Humor Can Help to Heal Anxiety in Trying Times


Byline: Jane Lasky Business Travel Report

Given the anxious tone of today's new America, I find laughter is the best medicine. As I travel these days I discover that keeping a sense of humor is not only advantageous, it is imperative if I want to hang on to my sanity.

Case in point: I was standing in line at the airport the other day for about three hours - and that was before I even got into the terminal to make my way through the incredibly long line leading up to the ticket counter. It was then that I realized I could either turn around and go home or find the fun in the myriad time- consuming changes all of us sojourners are facing.

With that in mind, I started to sing. Well, it wasn't really a song with lyrics and it wasn't out loud. It was in my head, Ally McBeal-style. I ran through the tune of my new theme song from Rocky. The encouraging trumpets blared loud and clear and before long, I felt as strong as Sly and as determined as the fighter he became in that motivating movie. I would overcome.

Meanwhile, down the line, there was quite a bit of grousing and complaining. I just smiled to myself, happy I had found a way to cope. I realize my method may seem silly to some, but I say whatever works, works.

That clarified, I offer other ways for road warriors faced with the uncertainty of travel today to muster a smile:

- Pick up a copy of "Do's and Taboos of Humor Around the World: Stories and Tips from Business and Life" by Roger E. Axtell (1999, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., $15.95). If you can't find it on the bookstore shelves, go online and buy the book through Amazon.com.

This paperback is not only a riot, it is a lesson in helping travelers realize, as the author puts it, "the where, when and how of using humor abroad." As former vice president of Worldwide Marketing for the Parker Pen Co. …

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