Hardships in life are a given, but what if we found a way to laugh about it? Our guest shares how he's used humor to cope with the deepest pains in his life.
When we go through hardships and struggles, finding the humor in them can help us relieve stress and change our perspective. This week on The Science of Happiness, our guest shares how he’s used humor to triumph over hardship in his life. Kerry Rudd is a former member of the Bay Area Freedom Collective, a re-entry home where formerly incarcerated people can find community and connections. He started performing comedy based on his personal experiences during the 12 years he spent in and out of the prison. Kerry shares with us how processing his experiences by writing jokes about them changes his perspective on his traumatic past and helps him cope. Later, we hear from psychologist Andrea Samson about how humor can help us face down some difficult situations.
How to Do This Practice:
Every day for one week, spend 10 minutes thinking about the things you found really funny that day.
Write them down in as much detail as possible and describe how each of those things made you feel. It’s important to write it out, as opposed to only doing it in your head.
Write down the reason why these things were funny. You can also answer the question, “Why did this funny event happen?”
Find the full Three Fun Things practice at our Greater Good in Action website: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/three_funny_things
Today’s Science of Happiness Guests:
Kerry Rudd is a former member of the Bay Area Freedom Collective, a home by and for formerly incarcerated people, which provides resources and support for their re-entry.
To learn more about Bay Area Freedom House: https://www.collectivefreedom.org/
To financially support the Bay Area Freedom Collective: https://givedirect.org/freedomcollective/
Andrea Samson is director of the chEERSLab at UniDistance Suisse and the University of Fribourg. She studies how humor helps us deal with one difficult situation and emotions
Learn more about Andrea’s research: https://tinyurl.com/3t42rp93
More resources on humor from The Greater Good Science Center:
Listen to The Science of Happiness episode on how humor can strengthen a relationship: https://tinyurl.com/4jem5r25
How a Little Humor Can Improve Your Work Life: https://tinyurl.com/4u2949mk
How Laughter Brings Us Together: https://tinyurl.com/2s3zfp7h
Why Do We Laugh?: https://tinyurl.com/4rr4d7ch
More resources on humor:
New York Times - Is It OK to Laugh During Dark Times?: https://tinyurl.com/4c22uekj
Guardian - You’ve got to laugh: why a sense of humor helps in dark times: https://tinyurl.com/3xpvkcm2
ABC - Why Pain Makes Us Laugh: https://tinyurl.com/4fa6snj5
The Atlantic - The Link Between Happiness and a Sense of Humor: https://tinyurl.com/3mke3wpc
Mayo Clinic - Stress relief from laughter? It's no joke: https://tinyurl.com/4w8f4rwx
Scientific American - Laugh so you don't cry: how laughing kills the pain: https://tinyurl.com/3sysuwyf
Tell us what you think about using humor as a coping strategy by emailing us at [email protected]
or using the hashtag #happinesspod.
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