The pragmatic application that was counselled was more simple: Find the things that make you laugh. Then keep them with you. Keep them somewhere accessible, so that when life gets you at its harshest darkest moment; where you really can see no light in the distance; this treasure of laughter will be available to you. I share with you my personal application.
I have two big flaws that effect my emotional reaction to things. I tend to overthink, my brain stuck in top gear endless permutations scrambling past the projector in my mind and to think verbally too much. My comedic cure to these symptoms is the irrelevant humour of Scrubs and QI. Scrubs is irrelevance personified and this whacky casual view of the world is conveyed to me, basking in the glow of its characters. It feels strange but a TV show is usually as good a way as there is for me to inhabit an alternate world. Books are for serious things. QI which I imagine my non-UK reader will never have heard of is a quiz show that while being informative is more a portal into irrelevance; the understanding that just because the paddle pool of ignorance is connected to the ocean of knowledge I do not have to run straight into the sea. Sometimes the paddle pool has its own wonders. It is an attempt to revive the fun of words and the pleasure of language, language at the beach and the amusement park instead of the office.
These two items in my treasury both serve to remind me through comedy of the things that my brain needs for its own good. Sometimes it needs to be off; sometimes it has to be left in neutral if it is to run at full speed at other times. It serves two other important purposes. It banishes the darkness; laughter instrinsicly is the emotion of the alive and the happy and this treasury can put you in touch with this at a time when you can’t recall them. A life line that is truly priceless. Also it gives you detachment – for a few minutes you forget the here and now; you inhabit the world which the material inhabits and can get yourself recentered by reminding yourself of the full range of human experiences; not only of human experiences but also your experiences.
I have had need a few times to put this advice to the test, and I can confidently say that while not a problem solver it has the magic quality of making problems more bearable, to make solutions more possible and the spirit more willing. And so many of our problems can be solved by these simple changes that I could say that they were problem solvers when the problem was me rather then the outside world.