Laughter is a key to happiness
Laughter is a key to happiness. Yep, in fact, laughter is the most important aspect to being happy -- no Prozac required! We often forget that laughter is a very essence of our spirit.
Laughter relates to communication, too. When we greet one another in America we say "Hello" which is similar to the Hawaiian‘s "Aloha". Alo - meaning in the presence of and Ha - the divine. (See Belinda Farrell‘s article on Forgiveness for more about Aloha.) The expression Hello was probably originally Ha llo... !
Look at the efforts people will put into making other people laugh. We have TV shows such as David Letterman, Jay Leno, Saturday Night Live, Seinfeld, Friends, The Simpsons, Cheers, etc., which all strive to make people laugh. A whole category of films are classified as comedies. Why? People love to laugh! Clowns at the circus dress funny and do goofy things to make kids (and adults) laugh, sometimes until they cry.
In theatre, there is the happy, laughing face always portrayed opposite the sad, crying face (comedy & tragedy). William Shakespeare utilized both in his plays. While we have the tense tragedy in Hamlet, Macbeth or Othello we have the humor in Midsummer Night‘s Dream or Much Ado About Nothing. Yet, even in tragedy, humor is often used to relax the audience during the most tense moments. Alfred Hitchcock was a master of utilizing humor in tense moments in his films of the 40‘s, 50‘s and 60‘s.
In business settings, I have found that when a manager or customer has asked me a question and I felt completely at a loss for (when I should have known the answer) the only escape is to make a joke. This relieves the situation and tended to allow people to forgive me for my mistake.
There is a time and a place for humor. If we run around laughing in a church when someone just died we might offend (I‘ve always hoped people would laugh at my funeral though).
Here are 5 ways to incorporate more laughter (and more power of HA) into your life:
If you feel goofy, let it out.
Feel free to encourage someone through laughing with them.
Watch more comedies than tragedies (or certainly than horror).
Listen to music or read a book that makes you laugh.
Start laughing for no reason at all. (ok, be careful where you try this one - don‘t want you to get locked away!)
If you computer just crashed maybe that was nature‘s way of playing a little joke on you. Rather than get mad, laugh it off! Ok, easier said than done - it happened to me in June, 2000 (and again in February, 2001! - O.K., this was not as funny the second time!). Certainly there are things we can smile and laugh about during the event, rather than after it occurs. Laughter will nourish your soul. Let your eyes smile and twinkle like the eyes of a child. If you‘ve forgotten how to laugh, go to a park and watch children play. They laugh about all kinds of goofy things. Unserious your life and let laughter back in -- and watch as you become happier, the natural way.