The Journey: Laughter is the Answer


By SAMANTHA BRAZIE, Special to The Paper

Paper readers, have you ever embarrassed yourself in the moment, or looked back at something you didn’t think anything of … and became embarrassed about your actions or behaviors? Maybe it was something fully in your control that you chose to do, or something seemingly out of your control? Well I’m here to tell you, we’ve all been there. 

Sometimes it is hard to move on from that interaction or faux pas, but guess what? There’s literally nothing you can do to change something that happened in the past. If you hurt someone’s feelings or did something inappropriate, (and I’ve been there too) obviously a sincere apology is in order – but other than that, it’s best we figure out how to move on and not stew on it. 

Trust me when I say I have OODLES of experience in this arena. I’ve been on stage in front of 1,000 people and said something that I thought was funny about my friend that hurt her feelings. I was just joking like we normally do, but I don’t normally do that in front of an audience quite that size. I looked like a jerk in front of a ton of people and hurt my friend which was never my intention. 

I have run several public events, spoke in front of a thousand people, spoken in videos, have been board chair for several organizations and all sorts of things. I know that if I’m prepared, I’m good. If I’m not – hang on for the ride because there’s going to be some major turbulence!! Recently during a local luncheon, I rattled off like I’ve never stood in front of a room and talked to people before. I wasn’t prepared. I did it to myself. I can make all the excuses in the world, but at the end of the day, I need to own it and move on. 

Throughout my multitudes of embarrassing moments (mostly self-inflicted), I’ve discovered how beneficial it is to laugh at myself. I think about how I could have done better, and then I laugh at how silly I was. Like, at this last speech – I literally stuttered three times trying to get the name of the organization I served as board chair for a year out of my mouth. I wanted someone to throw something at me, or to pass out in front of the room – it was horrible. But guess what? I didn’t die. I didn’t hurt anyone else. I just looked like it was the first time I’ve ever talked in front of a room full of people. So now when I get up in front of a room full of people and don’t feel prepared or if I am nervous, I tell them about the disaster that was that speech. It loosens the room up, it relaxes me …. and it’s go time! 

There are multiple studies that show that laughter has a vast range of positive physiological and psychological outcomes. If you can train your mindset to be playful, life will be so much easier. It allows you to be kinder to yourself and see the humor in your Journey. And, it is just for you … whether you share your reflections with others or not. 

“Laugh loudly, laugh often, and most importantly, laugh at yourself.” – Chelsea Handler

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