Oh heck, now I have to be silly as promised from my last blog. Talk about pressure! Pressure can be a good thing though as it can drive us forward and challenge us. Stress happens when there's an excess of pressure so the answer to that is simplify or cut down on the number of things we set ourselves to do or commit to doing for others.
Right then... some silly games, stuff and nonsense.
1. In your mind create two animals. One with all your favourite qualities in looks, colour, things it can do (give it special powers if you like) and personality traits. Create the second out of all the things you dislike. Given them names (what are they and what they're called e.g. a cheeteagle called Burt or a blue kangafish called Stan anything you like) and give them a story.
2. Sit in front a mirror and twist your face to create as many funny expressions as you can.
3. Make a list of all the things that make you laugh and try and write a joke or funny story or poem. It's not easy, but remembering things that made you laugh can help as a starting point.
Eddie Izzard (comedian) came up with a silly story about cats. When you hear a cat purring behind the sofa it's actually drilling for something with goggles on and a big drill in its front paws. Well, it made me laugh and set my imagination going as to what it might be drilling for. So I came up with this...
Cats drill tunnels so that when they have conned you into thinking they stay sleeping on your bed all night they meet up to play cards, smoke and drink and confer on what mischief they can cause us humans the next day. They drag important items from our homes to drive us frantic looking for them and smile innocently and sweetly at us when we ask them where they are. They decide upon who they are going to pretend to fight with the next day and write reviews on each other's performance awarding prizes for the best efforts. Each year they have an annual award ceremony (like the Oscars) for best wind-up, best nuisance, best misdirection, best acting, best bee-biffer etc. The trophies are in the shape of fish covered in meaty jelly which they lick to bits. And so on...
Or how about imagining what else you could go into an office for beside asking for an argument from the Monty Python team... A moan? A queue? A sulk? What else?
Or... what else might be an arrestable offence besides walking down the street in a loud shirt (Not The Nine O'Clock News).
Or... if the term for an electrician who gets fired from their job is delighted, what other ones can you can come up with, de-composed for a musician, de-posed for a fashion model? (Dave Allen)
4. Start a fictionary dictionary of new words to describe things or new verbs (action words) e.g. if you turn rampant into a verb we get people going out rampanting. Write a definition so you won't forget what was in your mind when you look back and finally give an example of the new word's use.
Rampant (verb): The act of being flirtatious that goes beyond mere flirting but stops short of full blown seduction; usually done to help alleviate feeling randy. e.g. "I'm off our now for a spot of rampanting!"
I don't advise you do this for real in case you get arrested or sectioned!
5. Imagine doing something in Topsy Turvy Land like laying a lawn by digging a tunnel under the ground and pushing each blade up out of the ground from underneath and painting each one a different colour.
6. How about trying picking an emotion (sad, happy, angry, shy) and trying to make it larger than life or as small as you can by experimenting in front of a mirror with facial expressions and body language.
7. Try making a mask. It can be a half face, full face, elaborately decorated with tassels, glitter and paint or a really simple expression.
8. Can't get away for a holiday? Design your own - invent the island of your dreams. Design and draw your dream house. Imagination lets you travel anywhere and no one can ever know where you get to or what you get up to!
9. Invent a new language by trying funny sounds out. Warning - this can become difficult to come out of once you get the hang of it, so also be an interviewer of the strange person/creature who is speaking the language. Remember to use noises that indicate if you're asking a question, happy, confused etc?
10. Invent a new game based on one you've played and enjoyed - what were the favourite bits and what else would you included? This could be a board game like Ludo, Chess or Monopoly or a physical game like Twister, Rounders, or Badminton. Remember to be sure of the rules and don't forget to get a guinea pig to try it out with... not a real one, although...! Can you invent a game to play with an animal which has rules it can follow too? Dogs (and some cats) can be pretty good goalkeepers.
And the point of all this? Well mainly it's to have fun, to recognise we are still capable of being children. Some people missed out on childhood games so it's good to catch up. We all have the child inside us. Lastly it helps us to remember what is ridiculous and what isn't so it can act as a preventative toward getting psychotic as well as a stress release valve.
Being silly can help put things back in perspective. Finding the funny side of burning the hole in a favourite shirt when ironing might be hard at the time, but you should be able to manage it at some point afterwards... what could you turn the hole into? Can you persuade people to believe it's the latest fashion? If slashed jeans can be, then why not burnt shirts? It's common for people to laugh at uncomfortable situations as a means of coping and looking at serious issues. How many sit-coms can you think of which have funny stories about funerals or relationship problems? Humour is an essential part of being healthy and helps keep us in balance and recover from bad experiences.
So have fun just being silly. I think it's important to practice regularly. I'm sure there are lots of other ideas (and better ones) than these that you can come up with if you try.