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How to Humor Your Stress: Loretta LaRoche (Transcript)

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Loretta LaRoche at TEDxNewBedford

Following is the full transcript of stress expert and humorist Loretta LaRoche’s talk titled “How to Humor Your Stress” at TEDxNewBedford conference.

Loretta LaRoche – TEDx Talk TRANSCRIPT

Well, I’ve been teaching stress management for a good 30 years. And I have to tell you people are going insane. It’s just unbelievable; isn’t it?

I mean I think about my origins. I’m a Sicilian girl from Brooklyn, and was born into this Italian family with a lot of drama — lot of drama — I mean you know, it’s like an opera. You take the garbage out. You got a oh, taken the garbage out… and they got to kiss everybody, because you might not come back. Who knows?

But the word stress didn’t even exist then. Nobody — nobody talked about stress. It was depression, it was World War II. My grandmother had three sons in the army and she was always suffering, because of that… Sicilian martyrdom. Every time I looked at her: Oh suffer.

But we laughed a lot. You know what else we did? We ate a lot. We ate. And when we were eating we practiced to eat again. We talked about eating all the time.

We had some fun amidst the angst that was going on. And people seemed to just roll with the punches. I mean they accepted the reality and they had a community of people that helped them. They were called neighbors. Do you remember them?

Nobody comes to your house anymore with a sausage or a meatball. Because you know what if your LDL is too high, or something might go wrong, you know and who are these people anyway? You see them coming to the door… oh, I don’t want to see any people. I have my show to watch tonight. The one with neighbors in it.

I don’t ever remember my grandmother standing in front of the sink going on mud on to me. I’m so stressed. I can’t take it no more. I got to go to my spin class. Maybe I forgot my kale smoothie this morning. And I don’t know where my Fitbit is.

We have gotten to a place where we don’t know how to see humor in our lives, because we don’t have those people stopping by. The characters that were once in my life that provided me with historical references that I could put in my books.

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We don’t have those meals together like we often did, where we talked and laughed and shared stories. And if you acted up, huh lots of luck, you got told what’s wrong with you. And I went to Catholic school. I had the Sisters of Perpetual Mood Disorder. Trust me they didn’t let you get away with anything.

And you know that’s all part of understanding how to humor your stress; isn’t it? To have people around to guide you, to laugh with you, to make light of things here and there, instead of all this drama we go around with now; don’t we?

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