Laughter is good medicine. This is sage advice we are all familiar with. But sometimes it's difficult to laugh. Whether it's because of loss, grief, or trauma in your life; or less dramatically, the natural stresses that come even with good jobs or relationships, it's important to step back from the seriousness and laugh.
We need to be able to laugh at ourselves too. It's difficult to have a healthy self-opinion, without being able to laugh off the silly things we do or think. Laughing at ourselves keeps us humble, sober and less likely to be wounded when someone else criticizes us. It's not a matter of mocking ourselves to beat others to it. It's a matter of being able to not take everything so seriously.
While life has many things that need to be taken seriously, we tend to make ourselves miserable by making things more serious, emotionally, than they need to be. As William Arthur Ward said, “To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity.”
When we can set the emotional tension aside, and look at how hilarious life often is, we can more easily move through life and decisions. Re-approaching things from a humourous angle can get our minds thinking on a different path, and open us to creative solutions to issues.
Sometimes you have to put yourself into a humourous situation to get into the spirit of things. As a personal example, I've entered the United Way annual Tour de Perry tricycle race in Port Perry a few times, and it's a hilarious event. As an adult riding a tricycle, it's difficult to take yourself too seriously, and that's a good thing. Every time I participate, and see local business owners, politicians, and pastors allowing themselves to look ridiculous all for a good cause, it's been a great reminder that it's OK to laugh at myself. This is finding dignity by throwing off foolish pride.
Our minds work like a computer. Computers need to be rebooted, or set on 'sleep mode' periodically to get them to refresh and utilize their resources properly. Whether writers block or working out a math or technical engineering problem, sometimes we need a break and a refresh.
Laughter can help us take that needed break. As comedian Milton Berle said, “Laughter is an instant vacation.”
Here are a few ideas for ways to refresh your mind with some humour.
Family Comedy Minute
If you only have a minute to spare while working on a big project, I recommend checking out the Family Comedy Minute, at www.radioprogramsonline.com/FCM/ This one minute comedy show packs excerpts from family friendly comedy shows, so it's not only a good quick shot of comedy, it's also a nice way to find out about comedians you may have never heard of before. A few clean comedians I recommend are Nazareth and Leeland Klassen.
Sometimes nothing is as funny as 'the funnies'. Here are a few places you can find some comics that usually tickle my funny bone! Comicskingdom.com/comics is a great quick source to find comics like Dustin or Sherman's Lagoon. You can find Peanuts, Adam @ Home, Calvin & Hobbes at www.gocomics.com
The Scugog Memorial Library is full of comedy movies and humourous books. Take care of yourself, by going there and checking out some laughable literature!
So there you have it, a few sources for humour in a hurry. Whatever you face, keep a smile on your face when you honestly can. And when you can't, get some good medicine, that is laughter.
“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” - Charlie Chaplin.
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