Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Humor Heals

Happy Fish by PixelFixer

As many of you know, for the past several weeks I’ve been away attending to a family emergency. We returned home for a short week and then headed back after receiving a call that the family member had been hospitalized once again.

During this time we have been scared, confused, frustrated, tired, and overwrought. After feeling guilty for having fun and taking time for myself during this difficult time, I have recently realized anew how important your sense of humor is for your health.

Have you ever laughed so hard you cried? Well, what about when you’ve cried your eyes out until someone’s joke made you laugh uncontrollably? Don’t you instantly feel better? Doesn’t the laughter feel invigorating and the deep movements of a good belly laugh give you more oxygen and energy? It’s happened to me on several different occasions (to my vast relief and enjoyment.)

During challenging times such as illness and disease, financial stress or other serious problems, laughter and humor sometimes feel inappropriate. However, laughter and humor are wonderful coping tools during the most unpleasant and exhausting days. It can bring a smile to your face, relieve tension, and put things in a new perspective.

Reading the comics, hearing a joke or watching a funny TV show or movie may be the only time you feel free to enjoy yourself without guilt. But as in all things "this too shall pass." Using your sense of humor to help you see past the current doom and gloom can produce ideas and solutions you would have never thought of in your otherwise negative state of mind.

From my own personal experience I find that having a background of using humor regularly helps you to use it more easily during stressful times. Your sense of humor can not only aid you in relaxing and relieving tension, but can also help those around you feel more at ease. This comes more naturally to some of us than others. I admit that even after years of learning and practicing humor and allowing myself to be silly, I still initially held it back. I mistakenly thought it would be considered rude or offensive.

However, once I started laughing and smiling more, so did the other people around me. It allowed everyone to unwind, and was a gateway to talking about topics that were sensitive in nature. I heartily recommend to all my readers that you start practicing your humor skills today. You never know when they might be needed.