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“The crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow.”
-H. G. Wells
One of the greatest benefits you will ever have when going through difficult times is the ability to laugh at yourself and your circumstances.
Research indicates that laughter has a positive effect on our brains – it literally changes the brain.
Even in the midst of distress and anxiety, we can find something that can make us smile or laugh. We can find that drop of humor in any difficult situation, and when that happens, the resulting laughter can instantly transport us to another world.
Laughter not only makes us feel good but is a powerful remedy to heal the soul and mend the body.
Humor is a revival, a mini vacation, a breath of fresh air and a way to cope. It removes us from the intensity of the problem in the moment. Each of us has the ability to see the funny side of life.
Humor makes life more bearable, allows us to laugh at ourselves and our problems, no matter how desperate they may seem. It gives us power over what seems impossible. It replaces hopelessness with hope. Everyone can cultivate humor and laughter.
I love to read memoirs of people who have used laughter and humor to help them through tough times. Allen Klein, author of The Healing Power of Humor, shared how he and his beloved wife chose to focus on the “ludicrous, the absurd, and the farcical” as she faced death.
They laughed over the ridiculous and after her death these memories put a smile on his lips along with the tears on the eyelids. The focus remained on the good times together and the wonderful memories they created.
When was the last time you laughed – really laughed – until the tears rolled down your cheeks, your sides hurt, and you gasped for air? You laughed and laughed and didn’t want to stop.
Something tickled your funny bone so that in an instant, you saw the world differently – your situation was not so bad; it was funny. Your problem was not so profound; it was laughable. The ludicrous became the comical. The world had turned upside down and you laughed as you swung in the absurdity of the moment.
What precipitated that laughter?
How did it change how you felt about your world, your situation, yourself?
How did it change the minutes and hours afterwards?
At a dinner party I gave for a group of close friends, we celebrated the life of my husband with laughter and remembrances. He always found the humorous side to things. Together we toasted his life and shared stories about the funny things he used to do, the way he could laugh at himself, make others smile or laugh and how much we loved his brilliant mind and subtle humor. It was more than just a celebration of his life; it was placing wonderful stories, events, and connections lovingly in our memories, so whenever we thought of him it was with that enduring smile on our lips.
What makes you laugh?
When do you laugh the most? Can you purposefully look for those things that make you laugh? How can you bring humor into your life?
Remember that humor takes the edge off any crisis. Take an intolerable situation, flip it over and “tickle its tummy.”
Take a bad day and blow it out of proportion. Exaggerate. Make a mountain out of a molehill.
Comedians take the crises of the world and turn them into laughter all the time. We can do the same. Humor gives us a way to balance our life.