Laugh. Go on… give a big hearty laugh. What? The stress of being unemployed has become too much? “Laugh anyway,” recommends Joe Cardone, a Humor Consultant and Inspirational Speaker who presented to PSGCNJ this past May.
“Laughter is like crying, in that it releases stress. More importantly, the connection between laughter and how it affects the body and the mind is amazing,” Cardone stated. “When you laugh, the sound vibrates your organs and your blood vessels expand, improving blood flow. The brain also releases endorphins and increases dopamine, the pleasure chemical messenger in our brain. Laughter can be the best medicine!”
Cardone started as a stand-up comic in the 1950s and later became a high school English teacher. Over the years as a professional lecturer, he has seen the positive affect laughter has had on people, especially when spreading cheer to local New Jersey oncology patients at St. Peter’s University Hospital. “Joe has that rare talent for making those who are ill laugh and smile, resulting in an improvement of their overall quality of life,” said Dr. Craig Lampert, The Center for Hematology & Oncology.
“The key is practicing gratitude,” Cardone revealed. “Life is sometimes absurd. I try to look at the humor in things, and remember I’m not the only one with problems. Being grateful everyday for what you have helps change your ‘poor me’ attitude. You can’t make good choices if you are depressed. So find something to laugh about! You can’t laugh and be angry at the same time.”
What should you do if you are feeling down? “I recommend surrounding yourself with people who are positive and have positive messages,” Cardone advised. “Try reading books like ‘Happy’ by Ian K. Smith. Stay away from negative people. Sometimes, people get to a point where they give up. You can’t give up. Things always get better,” he insisted.
And, if all else fails? “Laugh. You’ll feel better.”
Joe Cardone, a member of AATH (Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor) and the National Speakers Association, can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and via his website at http://www.joecardone.com/.