Sometimes when traumas and losses hit over and over, it can become difficult to keep your head up, have a good attitude,
expect good things, lighten up and laugh. But wait, laughing may be just what you need! What? Surely not. Somehow despite all the drama, we have to stop being so serious and learn how to laugh at life!
This year, it’s been especially important to find the humor in life. There have been devastating fires, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Weather forecasters reported that the U.S. had 30 hurricanes during hurricane season this year. That’s an unusually high number of hurricanes for us. That plus the COVID-19 pandemic, shutdowns, job losses, a major political election and controversy, business losses, along with many loved ones who have passed away. These things have all had quite a profound effect on U.S. citizens, their families, their health, finances, and their livelihoods. Now I’m not being cold-hearted or making light of the difficulties that some individuals, families, and businesses have endured, I’m just saying let’s now figure out a way to lighten up our lives, so we can better move through the trauma that has occurred and start the healing process.
Benefits of Laughter
To be clear, I’m not speaking as someone who has never had any trauma. Quite the contrary! But an important aspect of getting through those traumatic events, no matter how long they lasted, was being grateful for God’s help, strength, and wisdom, and also finding something to laugh about.
Having a happy heart is good like medicine according to Proverbs 17:22. I like what The Passion Translation (TPT) says, “A joyful, cheerful heart brings healing to both body and soul. But the one whose heart is crushed struggles with sickness and depression.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time for sickness and depression. So I guard my heart and am careful about what I watch, read, and allow into my ears. I believe that a steady diet of television shows or movies about murder, wars, or the bad news with headlines about shootings, robberies, corruption, politics, hurricanes, tornadoes; or watching shows about people who are upset with one another or splitting up, don’t make us laugh or have a merry heart. Too often we get inundated with the heavy stuff like life challenges and we become serious, sometimes too serious. We get engrossed in deep thinking and what if this or that, or wonder if will things ever change. With that kind of thinking, it’s not long until we find ourselves in the deep, dark, gloomy pit of depression that can become like a black hole with no escape.
Below are some ways that laughter benefits us. It changes us by…
1. Decreasing depression
2. Decreasing stress
3. Increasing happiness
4. Improving our outlook
5. Boosting our physical health
6. Ramping up our emotional and mental well-being
So… as you can see, laughter is a great tool to liven up our days, brighten up our faces, our hearts, and our minds. Think about what makes you smile or what delights your heart. For some, it might be how you enjoy being around toddlers who are excited about everything they see and touch. They giggle and laugh and explore. Unfortunately, too often in our life journeys, we lose the ability to laugh and enjoy and explore because of bills to pay, struggles in relationships, not enough money to pay bills, being over-committed, handling challenges on the job, physical issues, or unexpected situations. That’s even more reason to make the effort to find a way to laugh.
How to Lighten Up
Start paying attention to the healthy things that make you laugh. If it’s watching children play and giggle, then do more of that. If it’s making faces at siblings or having fun with family members. Do it! How about watching your favorite comedian, a comedy show or a funny movie? What about watching animals? Pets and animals can be quite entertaining. I have been entertained daily with pets, as well as the family of birds in our yard. In order to appreciate how entertaining they can be, we have to first take the time to be around them, be still, and observe them. They do some most interesting things, but then, so do people!
When to Laugh
Does it matter when we laugh? It definitely can matter. I say laugh as often as needed, but you might want to make sure that it’s an appropriate time and place. We always want to be respectful of others so we’re not laughing at others but with them. Someone who is hurting from a fresh trauma may not be ready to laugh about anything, but later that time will come. Allow people to grieve the way they need to. It always pays to be respectful of others.
It’s okay to keep some of your favorite comedians bookmarked online or to download some good comedy apps on your phone or TV. Why not purposely search out and add humor to your life every day? We sure can use it! Also, we can look for the humor in our lives daily, but let’s face it, some days it can be hard to find something to laugh about. That’s why I say we need to determine to laugh. It’s great therapy to laugh often. You know those funny things that we see happen that bring out a deep laugh from within us. That’s exactly what we need daily! How can you find those? If you put the phone down and pay attention to what’s happening around you, you’ll find a variety of things that will be very amusing. Try it if you haven’t yet done so.
In a year when we in the United States have had many challenges and changes, it helps to step back, take a deep breath, and determine to find ways to laugh. How can you start doing that today? What changes can you make so you have more laughter in your life? Do you need to change where you live or the work you do or the people you’re around who may not value and appreciate you? Give it some thought and take the action that’s needed to bring more joy and laughter into your life. You’re worth it!! God has good things for you and He wants good things for you.
Thank you for reading my post! Please leave some comments below about how you have learned to laugh at life. I look forward to reading your comments!
Your Life Rebuilding Coach,