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ealthy Computing Tips

Healthy Computing: Chuckles

© Erik Peper PhD

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Healthy Computing Tips by Erik Peper PhD. View all columns in series
Optimize your performance and prevent computer-related injuries with Healthy Computing Email Tips. Each week we provide hints to help you stay healthier while working.

A laugh a day keeps the doctor away. It is nature's antidepressant-- offering another view of reality. A good chuckle or belly laugh is internal jogging. Laughter and an optimistic perspective may reduce neck and shoulder tension, lower blood pressure, and enhance immune function. Promote your health and lighten the office atmosphere with CHUCKLES.


Simulate laughing. Inhale sharply through your nose and exhale through your mouth in rapid staccato bursts. As you exhale, stretch your lips horizontally drawing the corners of your mouth up and back while, at the same time, keeping your eyes semi-closed, your body very relaxed, and your head hanging loosely backwards.* Repeat this breathing pattern while vocalizing, "Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha" until you experience a few chuckles.

Look forward to conflicts and irritations; use them as opportunities to transform them into a humorous experience. When disagreements occur, chuckle and ask yourself: --What would I think about this problem two years from now? --How would this problem look from the perspective of a four year-old toddler or your great aunt or uncle? --How would it look from a dog's or cat's perspective? --What would Dilbert say about the situation? --Is it worth dying over? If not, marvel, smile and laugh at your ability to make something seem crucially important even though it is trivial in the broader cycle of birth and death.

Once a day share a joke chuckle with your coworkers and email your favorite jokes to friends and HEALTHY COMPUTING (

Here are (hopefully????) some chuckles to groan or enjoy:
--Why you don't ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"?
--Why "abbreviated" is such a long word?
--Why doctors call what they do "practice"?
--Why you have to click on "Start" to stop Windows 98?
--Why lemon juice is made with artificial flavor, while dishwashing liquid is made with real lemons?
--Why the man who invests all your money is called a broker?
--Why there isn't mouse-flavored cat food?
--Who tastes dog food when it has a "new & improved" flavor?
--Why they don't make the whole plane out of the same material used for the indestructible black box?
--Why sheep don't shrink when it rains?
--Why they are called apartments when they are all stuck together?
--Why they call the airport "the terminal" if flying is so safe?
--If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
--Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks.
--I read recipes the same way I read science fiction. I get to the end and I think, "Well, that's not going to happen."
--Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.
--The other night I ate at a real family restaurant. Every table had an argument going.
--Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
--In the 60's people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.
--No one is listening until you make a mistake.
--It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
--If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
--Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you criticize him, you're a mile away and hes barefoot.
--If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
--Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

*Adapted from the work by Lemeignan, M., Guitart, P.L., and Bloch, S. (1990).

Copyright 2002 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney

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About The Author
Erik Peper, Ph.D. is an international authority on biofeedback and self-regulation. He is Professor and Co-Director of the Institute for Holistic Healing Studies, Department of Health Education, at San Francisco State University. He is President of the Biofeedback Foundation of Europe (2005) and past President of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback.......more
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