I stole your chart. Thank you to the fabulous creator of this really helpful chart.…
Over the years, when I’ve needed a lift or a charge or a jump, I’ve assigned myself homework. I’ve had all sorts of stupid assignments, from “engage with three people” to “find ten out-loud laughs.” Those assignments are per day, by the way. Not anything completely insane like per hour.
I’m just reasonably and partially insane, not completely insane.
Engaging with three people, for me, is not too difficult if I really focus on it. It usually means delivering Compliments or Well-Wishes (CoWWs). #AcronymAlert
Delivering CoWWs is actually really fun once you get over the initial paralyzing social anxiety. Once you realize the person is unlikely to totally go off on you, you can relax. And when you do say something nice to the person, you will usually see pretty quickly that others enjoy hearing nice things like compliments and well-wishes. Usually you get back a lot more than it took to get it out.
So it’s an all-around win. It’s a WIN-WIN! The other person feels good. You feel good.
It’s all good.
And then there’s the laughing homework. This is a big one for me because I get too intense during the workday and hours go by where I forget to look up, much less laugh.
I know it sounds ridiculous, but especially during Covid, I had to assign myself daily laughs and then check them off as I did them.
And it’s not that I don’t like to laugh. I love to laugh. And I love funny stuff.
But I swear I need a physical reminder to actually turn on something funny and listen long enough – and pay enough attention – so that I physically experience good laughs. Not just a “heh” or a smile where you note in your head that you appreciated something smart or clever. The whole point of the “Out Loud Funny” homework assignment is to get the physical laughs. Because laughing is good for you. And because the physical act of laughing helps to relieve stress.
And in those couple of Covid years, I had really gotten into the not-so-good habit of turning on doom-filled content. Like non-stop, folks.
Yes, here’s a shocker! My doom-driven brain is attracted to doom-filled content. So OMG… Covid was one long doom-filled stream of nonsense.
But that’s why I rely on CBT. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) tells me I need a reminder to listen to and watch happier, more hopeful and less doom-filled content.
See folks? CBT in action.
And recently I’ve actually started to do more of this, which is why it was on my mind today. Several things made me laugh today because today was a bit of a zany day. And I recall noting at one point that I need to get back to making homework assignments, especially now that my therapist is “retiring.”
She claims she’s retiring. I don’t believe her. I think she just wants to end her relationship with me and so she’s pretending to close her practice to avoid my feeling slighted.
That’s not true. I’m not that paranoid. But isn’t that a great story idea?
I’m taking a screenwriting course so everything now is a movie or series idea.
I’m in constant pitching mode. And I’m erring toward the INSANE!
Anyway, something today made me laugh and it felt really good to laugh. And I just want to reinforce how important it is to give yourself healthy FUN assignments.
Healthy, FUN, CBT-based assignments that help you to Change Your Mind by Changing Your Behavior. #CapsAlert
So I am officially putting it out there that I am “Looking for Laughs” – and that I am psyched, to be honest. I am psyched to laugh. Because I definitely do not laugh enough.
And I like to laugh a LOT.
Toward that end, I’ve started watching some Netflix stand up specials and I’ve stopped pretending Candice Owens counts as a comedian, even though she is really super funny.
And I love YouTube. I wish I had discovered YouTube much earlier.
But oh well. Sometimes you’re just not ready to have fun until TMS stops your brain from spitting out obsessive intrusive thoughts of violence and death.
(Spoiler Alert: this blog is about getting rid of suicidal thinking – gotta slip it in there)
Okay, so enough for tonight. You all get the drift.
Assign yourself homework.
My therapist is leaving. My homework assignment is to create a plan so I can check in with myself and report back to myself.
Maybe I need a team too. I’ll make a note to include that consideration in the plan.
Okay, I am on it, I am making a plan.
Happy Friday Eve, my friends. If you happen to find a good laugh, let us know what it is. : )
Send me your links to funny stuff and I’ll share with others here so we can all get our ten daily out-loud laughs faster.
Because Get There Faster.
And remember to Do Something Different.
Guaranteed Happy Ending below (intellectual Happy Ending, of course).
xoxoxo, d and bella