Listen to this episode of the Focus with Marlene Podcast
Get caught up with all episodes in the “Threads of Life” series
As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul.
— Jewish Proverb
Laughter is not a once-in-a while event – it is a lifestyle – a way to look at life.
Laughter allows you to see the good in the midst of our troubles. It helps you move through difficult times. It allows you to focus on things to be thankful for.
Laughter and humor take the edge off any crisis or adversity you are facing. It allows you to see a bigger picture. It doesn’t mean you diminish the importance of what’s happening, but you find a plausible way to work with it. It expands joyous moments and enlarges the depth of our love for and enjoyment of life.
“Every problem is a gift. Without them we wouldn’t grow”
— Tony Robbins
Here are five ways to make laughter and humor a part of your life.
Take a bad day and blow it out of proportion. Make a “mountain out of a mole hill.” Make it so preposterous that you and your friends can’t help but laugh over it.
When everything seems to be going wrong, we can either laugh or cry. Laughter helps release tension so we can explore ways to make things better.
You are taking charge. Viewing intolerable situations as comical and ludicrous is not minimizing problems – it is reducing their magnitude so you can find solutions or workable options. You laugh because at times the things that happen are just too ridiculous.
2. Look for the possibility of humor.
“Ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive, eliminate the negative…” was a popular song in the 1940s.
Put an encouraging emphasis on what is happening. Look for that possibility of humor. Choose to look at the world from a positive point of view. What can I do versus what I can’t do?
“Life is a gift. Never forget to enjoy and bask in every moment you are in.”
— Author unknown
3. Start a Gratitude or Happy journal.
Paste a large smiling face on the cover. We miss many blessings because our focus is on everything that is going wrong. If you continue to concentrate on everything negative, you will never see anything that is good.
Each day, record something happy, pleasant, or joyful. Find that kernel of gratitude in whatever is happening.
Rewrite the events you are currently experiencing to include hope and blessings. Sometimes blessings hide under big rocks of troubles. Lift that rock and release them.
Include in your journal warm comments you have received, favorite sayings or anything that made you smile or laugh. Paste in cards and letters or articles that focus on optimism and hope. Make this a priority.
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”
— Norman Vincent Peale
4. Every time you pass a mirror, smile!
Then, give yourself a big hug. Be open to hugs from others.
Post jokes and cartoons around the house. Put them on your refrigerator door, or bathroom mirror so when you see them, it triggers a smile.
When troubles hit, we tend to stay in that anxiety space, ruminating over and over in our mind how impossible our situation is, hoping that solutions will pop up. However, the longer we stay in that negative space, the less likely we will look for and find the solutions we need. When we continue to focus on how awful things are, we no longer see options or possibilities because anything positive is screened out.
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
5. Create humorous or self-worth affirmations.
Repeat them throughout the day or whenever you are feeling down. Affirmations draw us towards something.
Make a list of them that affirm your worth and capabilities. Here are some examples:
- I look for the blessings around me.
- I am an intelligent, capable, and responsible person able to solve problems.
- I love to laugh and enjoy life.
- I can make and accomplish goals.
Elbert Hubbard wrote, “Happiness is a habit – cultivate it.”
We choose how we want to look at the world.
We choose how we will face our problems.
We choose to look for possibilities and answers.
As with any habit, we take one little step at a time to put it in place.