“Laughter is an instant vacation.”
One of my brothers-in-law read my last post,”What Do You Mean? I Think That I’m a Great Partner,” and remarked that I hadn’t included humor in my list of desirable characteristics. That remark hit home. I use humor on a daily basis. So, of course, I included “Is able to see himself/herself with a sense of humor.” We do funny things like putting Cheerios in the refrigerator and our car keys in the trunk. (It may not be funny then but later it is, “Can you believe what I did?) That’s why comedians have been able to make a fortune using material from their own families. In this Christmas season I’m very grateful for the opportunity to laugh and have fun with those I love. Laughter is good for us and our partner.
For example, as a psychotherapist I deal with the anxiety and depression of others. As people express their pain, I feel it. The anxiety and depression rub off. As result, I’ve developed a routine that includes meditation, prayer, and humor. Humor is helpful because it helps me to see the light side of life. There’s more to life than anxiety and depression.It helps me to get ready for the day. At the end of the day, I can use humor to help me leave my work at work. Currently I’m using an audio version of P. G. Wodehouse’s novels and short stories. He provides a wonderful diversion and I can feel my mood lift.
As a matter of general interest, Norman Cousins, an editor of the “Saturday Review” for thirty years, used humor to fight a life-threatening form of arthritis that was thought to be incurable.You can read about his experience in the Anatomy of an Illness as Described by the Patient. He saw humor as a powerful tool to help the body fight illness.
You can use humor to –
Lift your mood
Distract you from negative thoughts
Help you relax
Deescalate your anger (But, avoid sarcasm)
Put you into a playful frame of mind
Our view of life can narrow to a point where all we’re aware of is the depressing side of life. Humor has a way of helping us to relax and broaden our view so that we see more than the problems we’re dealing with. The problems exist but so do the birds, sunsets, and good people.
So if you get stressed during this holiday season,
Read or listen to a humorous book
Read the comics
Check out the cartoons in the New Yorker
Deliberately look for humorous movies and TV shows
See the humor in everyday life – if you have children or a pet this one could be very easy.
I still like to watch reruns of Carol Burnett, Tim Conway, and Don Knott’s. I love to watch The Apple Dumpling Gang. (Do you remember Tim Conway and Don Knott’s accidentally burning down the army’s fort in “The Apple Dumpling Gang 2”?) Some of these people will be part of my life for as long as I can still think. I love them.
Sit down and watch a silly movie like the “12 Dates of Christmas.” Relax and rethink how important it really is to have the perfect Christmas or anything else. Perfection isn’t for this world and it isn’t necessary. Enjoy the show, the Christmas lights, hot chocolate, a little something to eat, and the companionship of the people you love. Let yourself enjoy the ambience of the best things in life: connection with people, beauty, delightful sounds, good smells, and delightful tastes.
Let yourself be delighted by what’s good in the world and for at least a time, take a break from work and duty and have a good laugh. You’ll live longer and better, and people will love to be with you. You have my money back guarantee!