We’ve all heard the cliché “Laughter is the best medicine,” but what if it isn’t a cliché at all? What if laughter is the key to combatting not only stress but dealing with the painful parts of our life? What if comedy could shut down that relative who is constantly commenting about your weight? What if comedy could take the pain of enduring racism and turn it into a message?
Judy Carter–author, speaker, coach, comedian–proves all those things are true with her work. She is as hilarious as she is insightful in our PlumbTalk Radio interview which is coming next week. In the meantime, here are some key takeaways.
“When we can laugh at a problem, we have power over it,” Judy states, adding that comedians are not happier people in general. In fact, research shows that it is the opposite. She jokes that people with no problems–people with the perfect relationships, perfect weight, perfect lives–aren’t as funny. But the deeper point is that comedy empowers us all to take ownership of what pain we go through and control the messaging.
Judy says that “someone can make you a daiquiri; someone can make you pregnant but no one can make you angry.” She adds that in her 17 years as a comedian, hecklers have taught her a lot about diffusing situations. Now she uses this mantra: “Don’t get mad. Get Funny.”
When it comes to that relative that is constantly talking about your weight, she urges you not to validate their comments. Judy suggests making a joke instead, like saying that you have gained weight, that you’re so glad the late night binges have taken hold because you have been working hard at this whole thing.
You walk away laughing. And that relative? She’s left holding on to anger and you just guaranteed she won’t ever mention it again.
“Someone can’t make you angry. You have a choice of your reaction,” Judy insists. She chooses humor and comedy and takes control of her reaction and those situations.
Just because Judy is a comedian doesn’t mean she doesn’t recognize pain. In fact, she believes that is where the best comedy comes from. She recognizes that you have to feel the pain, that you have to go through it.
After all, she points out isn’t it “horrible when someone jokes about something you take seriously?” She adds this, though: “There is a point when the person who is feeling the pain themselves can find humor in it, can find something to laugh about it.”
Once again, comedy offers an opportunity to take control of your pain and also to cope with it. According to Judy, the truth is, “everything we go through, we go through because we need to learn something.”
Judy talks about how humor and comedy have helped her students understand “that you are not a victim of your life but you have a message to speak to others.” In her The Message of You Journal, she asks people to write about the scene from today. Then, she asks what it reminds them of their childhood. She says we have all these patterns that we keep repeating and when we realize it, that’s when true change can occur.
Comedy, Judy notes, can help you “find your heart story” and “realize the message of your life and the purpose of your life.”
You can also find more information about Judy on her website. She offers some free teaching at themessageofyou.com. Furthermore, the tool she talks about in the interview–The Message of You Journal–will help you realize those eureka moments and deal with the pain you may have been unknowingly (or very much knowingly) carrying around.
NB Creative, Inc.
PlumbTalk Content Manager
What can you takeaway from Judy Carter’s insights about comedy? Don’t miss out on her interview with Dr. Shelley Plumb coming next week on PlumbTalk Radio.