What makes us feel better than a good hardy laugh? Not much I’d say! A couple of weeks ago I went for the very first time to hear a few stand-up comics at a wonderful local venue. Oh my goodness, did I laugh!! I had been stressed all day and nearly cancelled on my daughter and her fiancé. I’m so glad I didn’t! Those big old belly laughs were exactly what I needed.
I think Norman Cousins would have agreed! Doing research while he was critically ill, Cousins discovered that humor and healing go hand in hand. In his best-selling book Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the Patient, Cousins wrote about the “triumph of the human spirit” in contributing to our healing. Yes, ladies and gentleman, the healing power of laughter is very real!
I’ve thought a lot about humor over the years. A couple of decades ago I was one of only a very few people in the Fortune 500 company where I worked who thought that humor actually had a place in a corporate environment. I will never forget once at a big quarterly meeting when a kind-hearted human resources person stood to announce that there would be a lunch–time session on stress management that everyone was invited to attend. Well, now. The serious-faced, buttoned up, three-piece-suited vice president who was running that meeting immediately challenged loudly: “Raise your hand if you have time to go to a session on stress!” Wow. Nary a hand went up. The message was crystal clear: No time for that frivolous pursuit. So sad. All I can say is…Yay! I’m not in that environment anymore! Smiles galore now!
Now let’s get back to the healing power of laughter. Think about this: What makes you smile? For example, what movies always bring a smile to your face? For me one would be My Cousin Vinny!! I’ve watched that movie so many times and I still laugh! Does a particular friend’s sense of humor always lighten your mood? Give him or her a call! Remember that laughter is not always about jokes. Smiles come for many reasons!
Go ahead now. Make a list!! Consider funny photos, jokes, quotations, songs, animals, people, television shows, memes, comics, etc., etc., etc. Everyone’s list will be different.
I believe it may have been Liz Curtis Higgs who said, “Someday we’ll laugh about this. Why wait?” Liz was right. There is truly never a bad time for a smile or laughter. Perhaps in the darkest of times is when a little smile or a bit of laughter will do the most good.
My advice to you today? Do whatever it takes to put a smile on your face! You’ll be glad you did!