December 2018

Joyous December,

For the past few weeks I’ve had the joy of sharing laughter and fun at office Christmas parties and end of year conferences and events. I’m usually invited in to introduce fun-filled strategies for addressing the stress that comes with need to finalise things before the end of the year.   This time last year I was invited into one head office for a single session. We had a lot of fun and a week later I was invited to run a longer workshop for their head office staff. There was a 3rd invitation for a different department and then a 4th, and before I knew it what we termed our ‘happy tribe program’ was a regular feature. Last Friday we had our 14th meeting. Over 50 minutes just before lunch, we work together on practices of resilience, happiness management (we decided not to call it stress management), organisational wellbeing and mindfulness. Last Friday a new strategy was born. Terry, who is usually one of the most joyous in the room, arrived looking tired and stressed. I asked him if everything was OK and he said he was just feeling blah! He said he couldn’t really describe it, blah would have to do. We were discussing a few strategies for resilience in blah times when we realised that the strategies everyone was agreeing on created the acronym BLAH. We liked it, it works for us, you might like to try it…

BLAH stands for breath, label, attribute and (find the) humour.

Breathe - When we’re feeling stressed or run down a few slow deep breathes can be very calming. For many people they work like a circuit breaker, giving time to re-set before returning to whatever needs doing. In through the nose, out through the mouth, long slow mindful breathes. How many breathes is up to you but I recommend a minimum of 3.

Label – Stress is the physical and emotional response to an emotion. If we can label the actual emotion, we can work towards discovering what is causing our stress. Are we angry, fearful, frustrated, nervous, overwhelmed, feeling, tired and emotional, the list goes on… While there are only 8 core emotions the subsets are long. Email me if you’d like a list. Terry thought about it and came up with the label of a combination of tiredness and frustration bordering on annoyance.

Attribute – what is causing the emotion that is causing your stress? Is it something you can address either now or later. Is it something new, or is there a pattern in your reaction, an implicit response that once recognised you might be able to attend to?   For Terry it was a combination of a late, although enjoyable evening the night before and on-going computer issues, the cure for which he decided was to contact IT, something he hadn’t done as yet.

(Find the) Humour – I possibly take a fairly academic view on humour, it could be all the study I’ve done into humour as therapy, but to me humour doesn’t necessarily mean laughter, it’s more that feeling of inner joy. At the time you might think there isn’t any humour in whatever is causing your stress, but if you’re creative, take a few moments to breathe deeply, label and attribute you might find something. Terry told us that to him the humour was in the image of him trying to negotiate with his screen, because we all know that works when our computer plays up! and then he added that it was also in the thought that the possible antidote to his blah feeling was BLAH!

Breathe, Label, Attribute, Humour – BLAH! Easy to remember, and with practice, easy to do.

If you’d like to know more about BLAH, the Happy Tribe program, or our mindfulness, psychology of happiness, laughter yoga or resilience programs please get in touch.

On behalf of our fabulous team, Bob, Jayne, Tink, our recent intern Clarence, and myself, I wish you, your tribe and all your loved ones a wonderful Christmas, a fabulous end of the year, and may the new year be filled with joy, laughter, surprise and delight.


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About Let’s Laugh

Tailoring inspirational workshops and presentations that increase passion, purpose and profit by building health, well-being, resilience and team cohesion through laughter yoga, laughter yoga wellbeing, stress management, mindfulness and sound therapy.  




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Blackburn North
Vic 3130

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Phone us on 0421 335 197