Celebrity, Tom Dreesen discovers cure for Road Rage
Written by Lea Erwin
(Los Angeles, CA) - When Jay Leno asked the star of NBC's hit show, "My Name is Earl" if he gave the finger when he drove in L.A.'s horrific traffic Jason Lee quipped, "It's how we stay connected in L.A."
Lee should take a lead from comedian/actor Tom Dreesen who says he has found the cure for road rage and a way to disconnect from finger waving.
"When I get stuck in traffic I play a CD of contagious laughter called 'Laugh It Off'," said Dreesen, who is chronicling his life story in a Broadway-bound play called, 'Shining Shoes and Sinatra." Dreesen, who opened for Frank Sinatra for 13 years says, "I have 'Laugh It Off' on my CD changer and I found it to be the cure for road rage. It also helps our youth as the CD is a fundraising product for Hey U.G.L.Y., the nonprofit organization dedicated to helping teens with self-esteem-building tools, to help them counter challenges such as eating disorders, bullying, violence, substance abuse and suicide."
Millions of American are under stress and when they get behind the wheel they cannot get through the day without experiencing some sort of road rage. In fact sixty-six percent of people surveyed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration feel that unsafe driving is a major threat to them and their families.
"Laughter is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress," according to Dr. Andrew Weil who notes "... preliminary research suggests laughter may also boost immunity, relieve pain, lower blood sugar in people with type-2 diabetes, and help protect against heart disease."
Why did the charity choose to make a CD of contagious laughter? "We know the healing powers of laughter and how it can relieve stress," said Betty Hoeffner, the nonprofit's president. "Today teens are under tremendous stress and we wanted our CD to be a tool to help them de-stress and lighten up."
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, most teens experience more stress when they perceive a situation as dangerous, difficult, or painful and they do not have the resources to cope. Some sources of stress for teens might include: school demands and frustrations; negative thoughts and feelings about themselves; changes in their bodies; problems with friends; unsafe living environment/neighborhood; separation or divorce of parents; chronic illness or severe problems in the family; death of a loved one; moving to a new community; changing schools; taking on too many activities or having too high expectations; family financial problems. Some teens become overloaded with stress. When it happens, inadequately managed stress can lead to anxiety, withdrawal, aggression, physical illness, or poor coping skills such as drug and/or alcohol use.
Dreesen may not be the expert on stress but he says that whenever he sees someone fuming in the car next to him he simply rolls down the window and blasts the laughter."
In other words stress is experienced everyday either on the road or at home and providing a stress free environment of laughter might just be the "cure" everyone has been looking for. The CD is available at www.HeyUGLY.org for $10.00.