Crappy moods: they happen.
(Reader, are you straight-jacket-ed by a particularly crappy mood currently? Cut right to this Louis CK cure. Road-test the comedians’ corrective. And come back to read the rest of this later.)
Crappy moods are like reverse rainbows, showing up when weather conditions are darkly unfavorable in inner or outer environment or both.
At their best, crappy moods facilitate discharge of the nastier emotions. and move on. You know the drill: kick your drawer shut, and break your own toe in the process. Slam household items around. Be snappy at those you love. Mope and mull. It’s not usually a pretty picture.
But Crappy Moods sometimes settle in like shower mildew, and can put a serious cramp in your creativity.
Comedians: they help.
Your Crappy Mood is an orchard ripe for picking for comedians, who can find the humor in anything– the less seemingly funny it is, the better. Your irrational or irritable behavior is already slightly ridiculous to anyone who’s not you.
A comedian laughs not just with you, but at you. And you’ll want them to. Because then you’ll have to laugh at yourself, and this is the healthiest way to return to creativity, sanity, and general equilibrium.
Let Joan Rivers explain
Joan Rivers told Larry King, “I purposely go into areas that people are still very sensitive about and smarting about, because if you can laugh at it, you can deal with it. That’s how I’ve lived my whole life. I swear to you – and I’m Jewish – that if I were in Auschwitz, I would have been doing jokes just to make it OK for us.”
But to deal with it, you have to know that it’s there in the first place.
Crap Under the Radar
Crappy moods happen more frequently and more fiercely when something is bugging us just under the radar of our awareness. Some unaddressed stressor, or maybe a small mountain of them. Some factor out of our control, like whether or not– emphasis on not— our writing is universally loved. Or, more to the point here, say, the colleges we’ve applied to don’t automatically think we’re the best thing since cored apples. Oprah not calling to interview us on a topic of our choice just because we’re awesome. And so on. You have your own list. I have mine.
Louis CK to the Rescue
When I come home in one of these moods, rather than quarantining myself or spreading my attitude problem all over my family, I take my husband’s advice to listen to some comedy. Louis CK is our go-to guy, because he’s — well, raw. Right. Rowdy.
Comedians’ special ace is their unflinching honesty. All our thinly or thickly suppressed taboos, all the things we’re not supposed to say or even think, they pull them to the surface like fart bubbles in a bathtub. Comedians take the most ordinary, commonplace thing and point out some ridiculous element so obvious the average eye would never notice.
This Louis CK stand-up clip, in which he goes to logic war with his 3 year-old over “Pig Newtons,” never fails to pull the rug out from under a Crappy Mood. Crappy Mood doesn’t stand a chance against his take on his kid’s staunch unreasonableness.
He also uses profanity with perfect pitch– not recommended in your college essay, but an art form in itself. Warning: by 6-minutes in, his skit gets scatological, so the squeamish among you might want to bail before that.
The Benefits of Laughter
If you’re not convinced that the answer to your mood is to listen to comedy, check out this link from the Mayo Clinic on the positive health benefits of laughter. It’s real, people: conventional medicine even says so! It regulates your stress response, stimulates circulation, and delivers oxygen to all your organs (yay), all for just $0.00/month.
But the best part is, after you get rinsed out by a serious spell of laughter, your perception is cleansed. There is a bit of light in the world again– even if the comedy you heard has been, in its own way, a little dark.
You can’t laugh without a smile, and once you’ve smiled, you trip your brain circuitry into assuming some degree of happiness. And it’s enough to gain your footing, and kick the tail end of Crappy Mood out the front door, and open the blank page, and ponder something meaningful or ridiculous.
Too Crappy to Compose?
And if you’re still trapped in Crappy Mood’s claws, contact us. We’ll refer you to about seventeen more Louis CK clips (start here with his nit-picking at word usage), and then send you some writing prompts that will really elevate your happiness index. That is, once we’re done changing our baby’s crappy diapers, which always put us in a special kind of mood.
Meanwhile, here’s a great therapeutic approach to step-by-step Laughing At Yourself. And that image up top? That’s my baby, who thinks everything is funny.