Laughing when the last thing anybody else is doing is laughing. Laughing until you’re no longer making noise and your stomach is cramping and tears swell in your eyes. Laughing to turn a dreary day into one with at least little bit more sunshine.
I don’t necessarily call myself full-out funny. I’m certainly awkward and pretty quirky, but not everybody understands when I use sarcasm in 90% of my conversations or refer to some obscure TV show or YouTube video. Or, my general obsession with memes…that’s a whole other story.
But humor is powerful. In fact, it’s great for our health and well-being. Laughter has been shown to relax your muscles, release those good endorphins, boost your immune system, and improve your connections with others.
There’s a reason we’re drawn to watching comedies when we feel blue or stressed out. Humor allows us to draw our perspectives away from negative emotions of anger and anxiety and realize the potential resentment and tension we hold. We can then see how small and insignificant some grudges can seem, or be able to distract ourselves enough to think of new solutions to make improvements.
Some of the funniest people in the world are the ones suffering the most pain. They utilize humor as a tool to cope with their mental illness and traumas, to continue finding purpose in life whilst connecting with others beyond their struggles. We might underestimate humor in this way, that it’s just a funny joke to share or late night talk show. But humor can mean so much more.
It’s part of our psyche to laugh, to seek out ideas and situations that swell up in our bellies and on our tongues. How hopeful it is to know that we’re wired to be humorous, to use humor as a bridge to reach other people and thoughts and emotions. Plus, it feels great. If anyone out there genuinely doesn’t like laughing…well…I don’t know what to tell you.
Let’s face it: If you’re in the midst of a hectic schedule, working or taking classes or whatever else, it’s not like humor appropriately arises. I’m sure I go days without laughing, which really isn’t my preference. I can feel the difference it makes when something or someone out of the blue leaves me in stitches, and I almost rediscover myself through that humor, especially if my personality resonates in it.
I’m grateful for laughter, for well-intentioned jokes (I’m looking at you, offensive words made as jokes that are anything but), for the memories I share with loved ones that are filled with unadulterated joy. I’m grateful for how powerful humor can be, in improving our lives and making us aware of new perspectives and ideas.
Think of how blessed we are in our everyday lives, and sometimes how silly it can be to make a huge fuss over little situations and details that at the end of the day don’t matter? That you won’t remember a day from now? An argument with someone over a trivial matter you’re lucky to even be worrying about at all? An embarassing mishap that, trust me, others won’t be dwelling on any longer you feel angry about it. It’s not always easy to do, but you might as well laugh.
How can I incorporate my laughter into my days? Find places in conversations that can be filled with humor, a good joke or random meme shared online. Spend time with those who tickle your funny bone. Find the outlets that make you laugh, certain TV shows or websites or whatever else. And when in doubt, smile, and the whole world will smile with you.
I challenge YOU this Friday to make the extra effort to sneak in a laugh, from yourself or from someone else you encounter. See how it impacts your day. And count your blessings from there.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie