— Selected for OverDrive’s Big Library Read (April 2021)! —
From a psychologist and stand-up comedian comes a practical, yet laugh-out-loud guide to embracing humor to reduce stress and live a happier, fuller life.
Dr. Brian King got a degree in psychology before becoming a world-touring comic and the host of humor therapy seminars attended by more than ten thousand people each year. In this brilliant guide he presents hands-on techniques for managing stress by rewiring our brains to approach potentially difficult situations through a lens of positivity. To do so, Dr. King explores what stress is, where it comes from, and what it does to our bodies and brains. He delves deep into how to address everyday stress—as well as anxiety, insecurities, repression, and negativity—and gives insight into resulting ailments such as anxiety disorders, depression, hypertension, obesity, substance abuse disorders, and more. Dr. King’s techniques are chemical and cost free, and embrace humor, resilience, relaxation, optimism, gratitude, and acceptance. Instead of a dry medical approach to dealing with stress, this unique volume is filled with life-changing tips and instructions presented with humor and a wealth of memorable, smile-inducing anecdotes.
About the author
Dr. Brian King trained as a neuroscientist and psychologist and for the past decade has traveled the world as a comedian and public speaker. By day he conducts seminars, presented nationwide and attended by thousands of people each year, on positive psychology, the health benefits of humor, and stress management. By night he practices what he teaches in comedy clubs. Dr. Brian began performing stand-up comedy in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2009, and has performed hundreds of shows around the world. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas, a master's degree from the University of New Orleans, and a PhD from Bowling Green State University, and is the author of The Laughing Cure. Dr. Brian hails from New York City and today spends his life on the road in the US, traveling regularly with his partner, Sarah, and their young daughter, or at their second home in Montreal, Canada.
“King's particular approach is original and refreshing. He combines a winning balance of accessible science, engaging stories, and comic relief to drive home a compelling message.”
“Psychologist and comedian King (The Laughing Cure) explores the science behind stress in this witty, informed guide. The author uses a bevy of running jokes and punch lines to enliven technical explanations for how and why people experience stress. His metaphors of coming across a bear in the wild as well as being stuck in traffic are also used to great effect to explain a variety of stress responses, such as perceiving a threat and feelings of powerlessness. Reframing thoughts plays a large role in King’s advice: “Stress is simply a reaction to a perception of threat... being able to consciously redirect choices made by other areas of the brain is the key to living a less stressful existence.” He also provides breathing exercises, plans for maintaining physical health, and useful advice for setting attainable goals. An interview with a former paratrooper and a harrowing story centered on his brother’s van breaking down while traveling provide particularly helpful examples of how one’s mindset can make all the difference in a highly stressful situation. King’s enjoyable guide to living with less stress will be of help to any anxious reader.”