By Lindy Earl
Laughter is good. It is healthy. It is healing. Children are better at laughing than adults are. For one, they laugh at inappropriate times. Remember when someone would fall off the bed, and rather than be concerned that they’re okay, you would laugh? I realize there’s a psychological protection factor in there, which is why we do it. So why do adults stop protecting ourselves psychologically?
There are so many levels of laughter. My son loves puns: “Thanks for explaining the word “many” to me, it means a lot.”
I think puns are the lowest level of humor.
There are knock knock jokes:
Cow says who?
No, a cow says mooooo!
I agree, only slightly better than puns.
I enjoy word humor, and George Carlin was brilliant at this: “If he’s Legally drunk, what’s the problem? It’s legal. Or – You know where you can stick it! What if you don’t know? Who will tell you? And – Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?
I think it’s the in-the-moment humor that’s hilarious. We all have stories that still make us laugh, but we can’t explain them, because it’s a location joke – you had to be there.
So while we acknowledge the joy of humor, why don’t we use it more? Once upon a time, people would make a joke and others would laugh. Now a joke is made and people look for a reason to be offended. I’ve been guilty of this. Being raised in a strict and conservative religion, I feel myself tense up whenever the denomination is mentioned, until I know it’s not an insult. I’m not even part of that church anymore! Yet, I continue to get tense, ready to be offended.
And why are we so eager to be offended? It’s not like it’s fun! Here we are, laughing and having a good time, until someone gets offended. Then everyone gets quiet and it’s uncomfortable. Who needs that? Even the person who is offended went from jovial to negative within a few seconds. Who wouldn’t rather be in a good mood? Yet, we allow it. Let’s remember to laugh.
Laughing feels good. There are a lot of things that feel good. I get that. But, when was the last time you laughed so hard that your sides hurt? I love that feeling. When you are gasping for breath . . . it’s a backwards pain. It hurts but feels so good. How do we get that again?
What can we do to laugh and laugh a lot? First, the internet is there. Like many of you, I exercise regularly. My most disliked exercise is planking – dull and uncomfortable. I’ve found, however, that a comedy clip makes my planking much more enjoyable. I’m focused on the humor and don’t notice the pain in my core. Sign up for a joke of the day or whatever it takes to make you laugh.
Second, laugh for no reason. You might want to find an empty room to do this. Get by yourself and start laughing. You’ll feel silly at first, but that will just make you laugh for real. It’s physically healthy and incredibly cathartic. You will just feel better and be in a better mood having laughed. I just did it. It works. Now you can laugh at the thought of me sitting alone in my office laughing. I’m still laughing.
Also, find people who make you laugh. I’ve dated guys who made me laugh, and I missed that when we broke up. I love laughing. I love making others laugh. I love laughter. Find others who are the opposite of somber and serious and strike up a friendship. BE the person who is fun and funny and you will see that people want to be around you.
Laughter is contagious. Once you start laughing, it’s easier for others to laugh. They may not even know the reason, but they’ll join you in your merriment. Laugh often and bring others along for the ride.
Look for the absurd in life. There is plenty of it. The next time somebody makes a snarky comment, put a twist on it and laugh. There has to be some absurdity in it. Somebody recently made a snarky comment about me. My best response was to laugh at the irony – here is a company soliciting my business, and when I told them I’m uninterested they took the time to write back and insult me. That’s hilarious! Maybe their attitude is keeping them from being successful. It only makes sense to laugh.
I don’t think anyone has ever calmed down when being told to calm down – with that understanding, I think the entire world needs to calm down. Stop taking ourselves so seriously. Look for reasons to forgive rather than be upset. See the good in the person if not in their comment. A lot of relationships could be saved if people would lighten up and be willing to laugh a little more.
That’s Life After Divorce
Lindy is a Speaker, Columnist, Author, and Consultant. Contact her at LMEarl@EarlMarketing.com or find and like her page on Face Book, and join her FB support group, Single Again: From Devastation to Dating. You can subscribe (for $1/month) to her Life After Divorce Newsletter at www.LindySpeaks.com.