“Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.”
“When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and
hang on. And swing!!!” Leo Buscaglia
“The crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow” H. G. Wells
Laughter is a tonic that makes today better and raises hopes for tomorrow. Humor is not just fun. It is extremely powerful “medicine” that heals the soul and mends the body.
Each person has within them the ability to create humor and laugh.
Medical research suggests that it gives a workout to many bodily organs and triggers the secretion of hormones connected with the immune system. Humor is a revival, a mini vacation, a breath of fresh air, a way to cope. Laughter counters isolation and puts people in empathetic touch with others.
- Instantly transport you to another world
- Remove you from the troubles of the moment
- Allow the pain to subside for a moment
- Make life more bearable
- Allow you to laugh at yourself and your situation
- Give you power over what seems impossible and powerless
What makes you laugh?
Our youngest son had to wear a brace to hold his head up. While it took a bit longer with more hard falls to learn to walk, once he did he never stopped. Full of mischief and a sense of humor that never quit, he would do something totally unexpected and have us all laughing.
Our days are full of moments when if we are aware give us not only pause to smile but out and out laugh. The ordinary can become moments of comedy or an opportunity to turn it into something to laugh at.
When do you laugh the most?
The following are some ways to bring humor into your life. Try some. Don’t be concerned about whether it seems strange or phony. It may seem corny, but if it makes you smile or laugh, hey isn’t that what we need today?
- Take an intolerable situation – one that is packed with emotions and stress. Flip it over and “tickle its tummy.” Humor can take the edge off any crisis.
“I’m giving so much money to the doctors, they’ll want to
erect a statue in my honor.”
“I’m hanging on so tight, I’m getting rope burn!”
- Exaggerate. Take a bad day. Blow it out of proportion. Make a mountain out of a mole hill. Imagine you are giving a performance at the local theatre. Or become one of your favorite comedians and during the day deliver their usual script using your situation.
“I had such a bad day. . . You wouldn’t believe
how bad it was. It was so bad. . . “
“I wouldn’t say the rooms in my last hotel were small,
but the mice were hunchbacked!” Fred Allen
- Create a good news/bad news scenario by turning upsetting events into humorous ones. Start with the bad news – then end it with a humorous punch.
“The bad news is I had all my teeth pulled.
“The good news is I don’t have to floss anymore!!”
- “Accent-tchu-ate the positive, eliminate the negative. . .” and “latch onto the affirmative” was a popular 1940’s song. Choose to look at the world on the positive vs negative side. Example: a 50% chance of sunshine instead of a 50% chance of rain. A glass half full vs half empty.
“How did the play go tonight?” “Oh, the play was
a great success, but the audience was a failure!”
Oscar Wilde, Playwright
- When you’re hurting, the world looks grey and dismal. Start a “Happy Journal.” Paste a large smiling face on the cover.
Record one happy, pleasant or joyful event each day. This may include smiles, warm comments, a beautiful sunset, a favorite saying or anything that made you laugh. Paste in cards and letters. Write a love letter to yourself.
- Start a list of fun things to do. Things you have always wanted to do. Choose one to do each day.
- Smile at yourself every time you pass a mirror! At the same time, give yourself a big hug. (Simply wrap your arms around yourself and squeeze!)
Then, the next person you meet, ask for and give them a big hug.
Hug somebody new each day!
- Cut out jokes and cartoons and place around the house.
9. Create and put some humor affirmations. When you start to feel depressed, repeat:
“I love to laugh”
“Each day provides funny moments. I just have to look for them.”
“I am so grateful I just want to laugh!”
- Write your troubles on a piece of paper. Burn it in a large ashtray and watch “your troubles go up in smoke.” Or tie the pieces of paper to a helium balloon. Take outside and release. Watch your troubles float away.
10. Perhaps the greatest gift of all is our ability to laugh at ourselves! If we laugh at ourselves
nobody can laugh “at us” – they can only laugh “with us”.
“When we admit our schnozzles, instead of defending them,
we begin to laugh and the world laughs with us.” Jimmy Durante
So try it out. Smile, laugh, share a moment of happiness with someone else, hug a friend who needs it and then help them smile with a word of hope and grace and humor.
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