Is Laughter Really The Best Anxiety Antidote?

Sometimes the best antidote to anxiety is the humor of Woody Allen. He has a genius for turning thoughts that make us quake with fear into ideas that rock us with laughter.

When you are anxious, laughter is important because anxiety makes us rigid. Our mind might be racing in circles and our heart pounding, but our other muscles start tensing and turning to stone.

Laughter breaks up mental, emotional, and physical tension. It helps us breathe deeply, and Woody Allen’s quips put our fears into a maybe unwanted but necessary perspective.

They remind us that life is full of precipices and paradoxes we may not welcome but must live with if we are to live. We might as well laugh at their expense.

Antidote by Woody Allen

“To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be happy one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness.”

“Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering - and it's all over much too soon.”


“In my next life I want to live my life backwards. You start out dead and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old people's home feeling better every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day. You work for 40 years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You party, drink alcohol and are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school. You then go to primary school, you become a kid, you play. You have no responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born. And then you spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then Voila! You finish off as an orgasm!”

“Confidence is what you have before you understand the problem.”

“Why are our days numbered and not, say, lettered?”

“I feel that life is divided into the horrible and the miserable. That's the two categories. The horrible are like, I don't know, terminal cases, you know, and blind people, crippled. I don't know how they get through life. It's amazing to me. And the miserable is everyone else. So you should be thankful that you're miserable, because that's very lucky, to be miserable.”

“Mankind is facing a crossroad - one road leads to despair and utter hopelessness and the other to total extinction - let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”

“In formulating any philosophy the first consideration must always be: What can we know? That is, what can we be sure we know, or sure that we know we knew it, if indeed it is at all knowable. Or have we simply forgotten it and are too embarrassed to say anything? Descartes hinted at the problem when he wrote, 'My mind can never know my body, although it has become quite friendly with my legs.”

“Most of the time I don't have much fun. The rest of the time I don't have any fun at all.”

“This guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, Doc, my brother’s crazy. He thinks he’s a chicken. The doctor says, Well, why don’t you turn him in? And the guy says, I would but I need the eggs. Well I guess that’s pretty much how I feel about relationships. You know they’re totally irrational and crazy and absurd but I guess we keep going through it because, uh, most of us need the eggs.”

Photo: Pexels

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