Laughter. One of the best stress relievers around. No side effects. No dispensing fee. Sometimes the funniest things are the things you do yourself. Some might even say it is a sign of maturity to not take yourself so seriously.
Recently I started working in a physician’s office. There are many details to look after and so much to learn.
While tidying up the office at the end of a day filled with a mix of telephone tag, a wonky-acting fax machine and being hung up on after a 20-minute hold, I looked at the huge spider plant in the corner of the office. Oh no! I’d been working there for three weeks and I had forgotten numerous times to water the plant! The doctor had told me she had had the plant for years – I did not want to kill it!
I searched the office for something to put water in and ended up with my coffee mug. I filled it with water and went over to the plant. It still looked green, no dead leaves on the ground. Good sign. I reached my hand into the pot to feel how dry the soil was. There came the surprise – all I felt was Spanish moss and…plastic! This was the most realistic artificial plant I had ever seen.
I started to laugh at myself, for worrying about killing the plant and upsetting my new boss. The annoyance at the automated phone system dissipated. The frustration with the fax machine evaporated. Weariness and stress were lifted and I powered down the computer, turned off the lights and locked the doors behind, heading happily for home.
In the past stress was treated with high-calorie treats or tuning out on the couch, neither of which was beneficial for me, nor did they relieve the stress. They had their own “dispensing fees” and side effects – excess weight and poor sleep were just two.
I’ve learned a lot on my journey, and one of the big things is that emotional eating solves nothing and just spins the cycle of overeating, guilt and overeating again. I rely on prayer, praise, a healthy eating and activity plan and regular healthy doses of laughter.
My husband is always a great source of material for laughter on a daily basis. Our children, and most of my closest friends love to laugh. But more and more I realize that I have a source of laughter that goes everywhere I do and the more I let go of what other people think of me, the easier it becomes to laugh at myself.
The Bible tells us that God loves His children to laugh. I echo Sarah’s words in Genesis 21:6 (The Voice), ” God has graced me with the gift of laughter! To be sure, everyone who hears my story will laugh with me. When you see a realistic artificial plant, may you remember my story and laugh also.
In these days filled with stressors, I’m thankful to God that a treatment is readily available.