The Laughter Remedy was created by Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D. Paul was a pioneer in humor research, laying the groundwork for the current interest in the health benefits of humor. After receiving his Ph.D. in developmental psychology in 1968, he spent 22 years conducting basic research on humor and laughter while teaching at the university level. He is internationally known for his own humor research, and has published over 50 scientific articles and 11 books on humor.
"Laughter is the most inexpensive
and the most effective wonder drug.
Laughter is a universal medicine."
The goal of the articles that will appear here, starting January of 2000, will be to demonstrate the many ways in which humor and laughter serve as a remedy for the stress we all experience daily in connection with our job, our relationships, our family finances, and even our health. In every area of our lives, some people are able to call upon their sense of humor to help soothe tensions, anxiety, or anger, and remain effective on their job on the tough days. They manage to sustain the hope and the courage they need to deal with difficult circumstances in their lives.
Prisoners of war and hostages who have been held captive for years often point out that their sense of humor was a powerful tool in helping them get through one day at a time. Cancer patients often tell me, "If it weren't for my sense of humor, I wouldn't have survived the treatment --let alone the disease. I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't found a way to laugh during those difficult days." If humor has the power to help these people manage the terrible stresses in their lives, it can also help you cope better with the stress in your own life.
The important question for you is, "Is it too late to learn to improve your sense of humor? Is it too late to begin using humor to cope better with the stress on my job? Is it too late to try to use my sense of humor to get some of the health benefits that humor offers? The answer is no, it's never too late to start improving your humor skills, using your own present sense of humor as a starting point. In future articles, we will provide specific suggestions of things you can do strengthen your basic humor skills, so that you can begin using humor as a coping skill in your everyday life. If you would like to begin immediately, see the articles for the last half of 1999 in "Humor Your Tumor" at my web site, www.LaughterRemedy.com.
Next month, we will begin by discussing the ways in which humor and laughter contribute to your physical health and wellness.
In an effort to add a more international focus to humor.ch, and to increase public awareness of the many positive benefits of humor in our lives, we will begin the new millennium with a new humor column in English. The column will be written by Paul McGhee, PhD. He will contribute a new article each month focusing on one of three areas: 1) the physical and mental health benefits resulting from humor and laughter, including how humor helps cope with stress, 2) ways in which corporations are encouraging humor and fun on the job, or 3) how to improve your own humor skills (he insists it's not too late to begin using your sense of humor to cope with life stress). He will also occasionally update us on new research (published in English) related to these topics.
About Paul McGhee
Paul E. McGhee, PhD, is President of The Laughter Remedy, Montclair, New Jersey. He provides keynotes and seminars that show corporations and health care organizations how to build resilience and cope with change using humor. He is at the cutting edge of the growing movement to find ways to make work fun, and to encourage employees to use their sense of humor on the job, as a means of 1) boosting job satisfaction and 2) providing the resilience required to sustain peak levels of performance and quality service in high stress work environments. His unique expertise makes him a sought-after speaker among organizations struggling to manage the stress induced by change.
Paul's work has been discussed in Geo, Intra, Schweizer Familie, Die Zeit, Der Spiegel, Weltwoche, VG (Norwegian), Oggi (Italian) the New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek, and numerous other publications.
With a PhD in psychology, Paul is internationally known for his own research on humor and laughter, having spent 20 years as a researcher before becoming a professional speaker. During that time, he broke new ground in numerous areas of research. In addition to his positions at American universities, Paul spent three years working at the University of Paris (l'Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes). He has given talks on humor in 10 countries (including keynotes at both the Basel and Arosa Humor Conferences).
He has published 11 books on humor, including his latest, Health, Healing and the Amuse System: Humor as Survival Training (Kendall/Hunt, 1999). This book marks the culmination of Dr. McGhee's research, providing a "hands-on" Humor Skills Training Program which shows how to develop the basic skills required to use humor to cope with life stress.
To contact Dr. McGhee, go to his website at www.LaughterRemedy.com.