The following is from an article I wrote in February, 2010, which I am now able to post. It remains appropriate, so…

On the list of little known holidays, some are rather important. During February, from the 10th to the 14th, we observe Cardiac Rehabilitation Week. This annual event is dedicated to the cardiac rehabilitation professionals and the patients they serve, to the goal of reducing the devastating effects of heart disease. Indeed a worthy endeavor to those of us who care about our health.

Not to take anything away from those professionals, and in addition to what they do, there is so much we can do for and by ourselves, through a daily regimen of laughter!

No joke here; from the Bible (“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”) to Groucho Marx (“A clown is like an aspirin, except that it works twice as fast.”) experts through the ages are clear about the value of laughter as it relates to our heart and health.

Research studies have shown that laughter and a good sense of humor can protect against heart disease. In other experiments researchers have found that ten minutes of laughter can lower blood pressure and increase circulation. Dr. Michael Miller of the University of Maryland, home of these studies says that, “Recommendations for a healthy heart may one day be exercise, eat right and laugh a few times a day.”

Why wait until “one day”? Laughter, for its curative powers, is a lot like chicken soup…are we sure it will help? It won’t hurt!

Here then, is my prescription for Cardiac Rehabilitation Week and every day, to be taken as often as possible:

• Practice the Five Minute Fun Fling. . Simply put, the Five Minute Fun Flings are five-minute humor breaks that we allow ourselves to take at any time we need or want. During these five minutes of humor, some wonderful things happen to us. First, we help ourselves overcome any stress we may have encountered earlier in the day. Next, we put ourselves in a better frame of mind to deal with any stresses we might encounter later that day. Additionally, practicing the Five Minute Fun Fling helps us to draw humor more easily from those situations that normally cause us stress, anger and frustration.
The ease and frequency with which we participate in the Five Minute Fun Fling, and the value of its benefits improves steadily with practice, just as in practicing a musical instrument. However, the Fun Flings are, well, more fun. Visit for more on this and a list of some Five Minute Fun Flings.

•Visualization and Imagery. Mr. or Ms. Stress is a person who most of you deal with each day at work. Surely you know who she is; that person whose mere presence causes you to feel stressed. This is most certainly one of those times that you need your sense of humor. You can do that with an approach called: “Visualization and Imagery.” Suppose Ms. Stress walks in and has big huge floppy rabbit ears or a duckbill where his mouth was? What if Ms. Stress suddenly has the same hairdo as Marge Simpson or Ronald McDonald? Mr. Stress might not look so intimidating and Ms. Stress may have lost some of her edge looking that ridiculous. Once you use your imagination to visualize him or her taking on some of the physical characteristics of your favorite cartoon character or anything you think is funny looking, then you can begin to see these individuals through your sense of humor rather than from a sense of fear or intimidation. This activity minimizes your stress and helps to maintain your confidence and control and adds some laughter to your day.

• Our “inner sense of humor.” We can only experience one emotion at a time and so, we may as well choose to feel happy. This emotion is the one with which we always work at our best and most efficient, creative manner. Stop and think before losing control. Our feelings last only a few seconds unless we fuel them with thoughts. Thoughts are what drive our feelings. Humorous thoughts can drive away negative feelings. Therefore, to find some humor long enough to calm ourselves so we can cope with and resolve the stress, we simply must Think! This idea is the power of “inner sense of humor.”
Relative to our stress level is the amount of humor we need to generate. If we are to minimize and relieve our level of stress, which can be a detriment to our cardiac health, we must enable ourselves to maximize our use of humor, making us more productive, more creative and better able to maintain our heart health and well being.
More tips and more fun are available at and in Practice Safe Stress, a guide to using your “inner sense of humor to minimize day-to-day stress, available at the same web site.
Stay well and HAVE FUN!

Author's Bio: 

“You started our annual meeting off with a bang! I, like so many members took some of your tips and will implement them into our daily schedule. We thank you for being a part of our day and bringing in the sunshine.”

“People just feel better after Barry’s sessions”

And, that’s the way it is with Barry Roberts. His humorous and valuable presentations on minimizing stress, developing innovative thinking strategies, problem solving and leadership have a way of effectively reaching people and improving their lives. Barry’s articles have appeared in national magazines, his radio interviews are heard nationally and readers of his books “Practice Safe Stress” and “The Sales Coach ll” are just as enthusiastic.

Barry has been a teacher, salesperson and night club performer. He combines all of this background and all of these skills every time he is on the platform.

Take your time viewing all of the information on the site. You’ll find outlines and details of all of Barry’s programs, video, comments, availability, radio interviews and a sign-up for Barry’s humorous, informative, FREE e-zine. It’s all there to help you make the best decision on the right presentation for your next event.

Beyond that, Barry is an avid tennis player, an awful golfer, his wife of 39 years is still his best friend, one of his son’s is a very successful artist and musician and the other is an Emmy winning writer!