Laughing, playing and creating are three ways to get and stay emotional fit.  Eight of Emotional Fitness Trainings 12 Days of Holiday De- stressingFunny emotional fitness test. If you did not find this a bit humorous that is a sign you are far too stressed.  Read on, it might help.

The day is empty that does not find you laughing, playing and  creating.  All three can fit easily into a your daily life and  “Improve the moment.”what Marsha Linehan, renown psychologist, suggests strengthens your ability to handle life’s stress.

Laughter is best when gentle and not pointing mean fingers at others.  However, life blows, unresolved trauma, and  fanaticism rob all of the opportunity to laugh. Have you noticed how many of those engaged in war these days also war on humor.  Some will kill just as easily for a political cartoon as when faced with a life treat.  Goes against all that makes a good life possible and endangers the worlds ability to find peace on earth.

As Mark Twain noted,  “The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”

Gordon Allport, a renowned philosopher and psychologist noted:  “So many tangles in life are ultimately hopeless that we have no appropriate sword other than laughter. I venture to say that no person is in good health unless he can laugh at himself.”

Finally, as Eleanor Roosevelt put it succinctly:  “You don’t grow up until you have your first good laugh at yourself.”

When you can live at peace with the idea that you are human and that means not being perfect you are healthier than many.   A stutterer who has learned to say “Is there an echo around here?” fairs better than the one who speaks less and less for fear of being scorned.

What to do about mean jokes?  Ignore when not in your face. In your face? Practice forbearance and forgiveness, make a face showing your displeasure,  and then change the subject or tell a gentle joke.

Laughter and play should go together. As world-famous athlete Jackie Joyner-Kerse noted “The medals don’t mean anything and the glory doesn’t last. It’s all about your happiness.”  If you aren’t happy when you play, you are not playing.”

Stuart Brown, M.D, an expert on laugher and play,  defines  play as,  “purposeless, fun and pleasurable….a process, not a thing.”

Brown also makes the point that play is voluntary. A good thing to remember. We may love our work, but it is compulsory and that is why we get paid to do it.

Creativity is not always fun at the moment.  Making something is deeply rewarding whether the creation is  poem, a cake, a novel, a sweater, a peace crane, a carving, a clay pot, or a blog.

The first 12 Emotional Fitness Daily Exercises did not make specific note of creating something.  That was assumed to be part of play, however, creativity is not always fun, the end product is the reward and so creativity deserves to be equally partnered with Laugh and Play.


Play is thought by many researchers to improve intelligence.  Minimally, it helps build the social skills needed to get along with others. Finally, play is also a useful way to move your body, when it involves laugher, you are combining at least two Emotional Fitness Training® Exercises in one.

Parenting tip one about laugher:  Know what is funny at what age and stage: Here is a link to an article that talks about humor in children written by  Jennifer Cunningham, long-time investigator  humor in children.

Here is a useful quote from the article about humor for all to read, “Other types of humor, such as taboo violation (for example, bathroom humor, as when 4-year-olds repeat the words ‘pee-pee’ and ‘poop’ also demonstrate this knowledge that things that are not okay in most situations are somehow safe to say when one is ‘only joking.’ Thus, all the expectations of the “real world” are somehow violated, whether in the unexpected punch line of a joke, or in regards to the consequence of a controversial act (such as violence, or the use of a taboo word).

In the words of humor researcher Thomas Veatch, “Humor is (emotional) pain that does not hurt.”

Does not hurt physically and you are not hurt emotionally because you have a perspective that lets you acknowledge both  humanity’s absurdities and your own flaws.

Parenting tip two about laugher:    Do not punish hurtful joking, if done by a child in your presence. Use it as a teachable moment.  That means  stop it and remind all involved that  such jokes are not kind.  If witnessed in media make the same point, but gently if in a make-believe story; not so gently in a news story.

Parenting tip three about play:  Keep the play in competitive sports.  Do not let efforts to play get wedded to a need to win that is stronger than the desire to have fun.  This is particularly true for adults playing with or coaching children.  A grown-up who has to beat a child is not playing.  Grownups playing with kids should handicap themselves.   Hopping while a child runs, giving a child a good head start are examples of handicapping. Doing so teaches fair play.

When you cannot play with a child for fun, it is usually a sign that you take yourself and life too seriously.  Not healthy.   Part of this exercise seeks to remind you of the need to keep humor in your life and that means developing a healthy ability to laugh at yourself.

Parenting tip four about creativity: the very young child will enjoy things like painting without worrying about good or bad. Praise the pleasure not the outcome.  Be prepared for the thought shifts that might dampen creativity. One child loved drawing until he turned six.  Then he stopped totally. Why? His brain had made a shift and he could see that what is younger self called a dog, did not look much like a dog.  Another such shift occurs when puberty brings with it the realization one’s writing or other creative efforts will not win prizes.

Parenting tip five about laugh, play, and create: A wise person said a child should be encouraged to have three hobbies: one that helps make money; another that keeps you in good physical shape, and a third that lets you create.

Parenting tip six about laugh, play, and create: The family that plays together stays together.  Too many seek divorce which always harms children instead of working harder to keep some fun in a marriage.  Laughing, playing, and creating together will not eliminate the bad, but will definitely increase the good and bring a better balance to troubled relationships.


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Thank you and work at staying strong until next time,. I work hard to do the same as life is often difficult but staying strong lets me find the good.




All the handouts and poster coaches for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free. A poster coach is like a face-to-face coach; all serve as practice reminders, some teach you the exercises needed to stay strong.

To use one, after down loading it from the store, print it up preferably in cardstock and color, then post it where you will see it as you go about your day.

Apologies if you cannot find one.  I am a Jill of all in this business, so some things take longer than others.  If something used here isn’t posted yet, you will find lots of other offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. In time all will be posted.

DAILY PROMPT   Cause, Meet Effect – You can singlehandedly create a causal relation between two things that are currently unconnected — a word and an emotion, a song and an extreme weather event, wearing a certain color and winning the lottery. What cause would you link to what effect, and why?

How this fits in with today’s EFTI Post:  Obviously, this post wants to link, laughing, playing, and creating to getting and staying emotionally intelligent.

Agree or disagree, comments are always welcomed.

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