Take Humour Seriously

Have you noticed that babies as young as six weeks respond positively to smiling faces and avoid frowning faces? Most of us are still prone to doing that! We mix freely with people who smile a lot, have a sense of humour, tell jokes and laugh heartily. There’s so much unhappiness, set-backs, health-problems and major tragedies in everyone’s life – but humour makes it endurable and worth living. Without laughter, life becomes dreary and humdrum. Humour is our greatest natural resource, daily providing lots of material for amusing ourselves and others.

Human laughter is a defining trait of our species. We are the only creatures on earth with the mechanism to laugh! Humour is essential to our physical and mental health. How so? Well, laughter can be a great workout for your diaphragm and facial muscles. It massages your abdominal organs, tones intestinal functioning and strengthens muscles, overall. It also burns calories to slim you. It draws blood to your facial muscles. It’s an easy, free, internal face lift. A person who laughs remains young at heart.

For the mind, laughter stimulates both sides of your brain and enhances your learning capacity. An alert, active, curious brain is a good piece of equipment at any age. Laughter therapy is used as a tool to battle. See humour in every little thing in life. See the ridiculous in every situation! Keep funny pet names for family members and friends. Let family and friends leave your home with smiles on their face.

Children find everything funny. They are always giggling at silly little things. As we grow up, there’s a new language to humour since we have experienced more life, more tragedy and more success. Now the humour becomes more subtle, more tolerant and less judgemental. There’s more sex in the humour and we enjoy naughty-jokes, though we try and avoid crass or vulgar jokes!!

Humour differs from person to person. Someone may ask, ” What do you find so funny?” If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then humour is in the funny bone of the receiver… and we all have a funny bone! Appreciating humour keeps you mentally fit, adding enjoyment and fun to your life, especially your married life. I asked one friend recently, “When did you and your husband have a good hearty laugh together?” She could not recollect and said that her husband only prayed the whole day and did some house-work in-between. That marriage requires lots of fun-times, fun-outings, laughter and interaction with others.

Laughing boosts our immune-system. Few activities are as mentally demanding and intellectually stimulating as humour. This is why laughing lowers blood pressure, reduces stress-hormones, gives us a sense of perspective, increases muscle-flexibility and raises our immunity. Laugh more and you’ll fall sick less!! It also gives us a sense of joy and well-being, increases energy and keeps us young because it feels good. Keep one day aside only for fun. At any age, when we laugh, there’s an involuntary explosion in lungs which require more oxygen. So, when you laugh, you breathe, and the blood circulates faster.

Apart from your normal work – fun, humour and laughter should be your priorities in life. Unless you are happy, how can you make others happy? And remember, a happy person never hurts another. So instead of a coffee break, take a laughter-break at least a few times a day. Spend time with happy people, people who smile often, who laugh heartily, who chuckle and who have a big belly laugh! Avoid people who are serious, who are cry-babies, who are too selfish to get out of their homes and explore life outside the four walls of their house – people who waste their life, going from chair to sofa to the bed, and again to the chair… People who never laugh, never smile, are socially backward and friendless. Avoid them like the plague and run a mile away as soon as you see them because they will drain you of your energy and depress you. And there are quite a few people like that – grouchy, complaining, never a smile on their face!

To laugh or not to laugh is not even a question. It’s a given. It’s a way of life. There are two ways or two choices of going through life – either you sit within the four walls of your house, crying about every little thing OR you go out, meet people, laugh and make others laugh! We all have problems in life. So what?  Deal with them but don’t dwell on them, otherwise, you’ll end up with no friends and no family by you side. Don’t keep complaining about things not going right in your life, because honestly, who cares!! Everyone is going through their own issues – don’t add to them. Lighten the atmosphere by laughing and joking together!

Shakespeare was so right when he said, ‘Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.’ So, the choice, dear reader, is entirely yours! Don’t take life too seriously – instead, take humour seriously!

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