I have been a devotee of self-help books for years. Many of them were very helpful in showing me how I could change thoughts and behaviors that did not serve me. I also have spent a great deal of my life keeping abreast of information in the fields of psychology and neuroscience. What has always fascinated me is that there is very little credit given to how humor can help us to navigate our daily lives. Oh the research is there. It has been growing exponentially for years . Laughter has many mental and physical benefits, but does not appear to be part of most health providers evaluations for their clients. I personally have not had a doctor ask me how often I laugh. And when I ask my audiences if they have, very few raise their hands. Laughter appears to many to be an act of frivolity, available and appropriate when one is very young, but something that needs to be muted in deference to more serious adult pursuits like being busy and productive all the time. What fascinates me is why the two concepts are not compatible. Can I be busy and still laugh and enjoy myself? Obviously in many sectors of business, healthcare and government that is considered verboten. Believe me, I am not advocating for people to act like fools or to create a circus atmosphere at work or in public, but I do know that without laughter we are living without the ability to look at life with a healthy perspective. When we are looking through the lens of humor we are more able to see ourselves as the cosmic joke, and life’s inevitable ups and downs become easier to navigate. I wish every school and business would give some time every week to allowing people to simply laugh. Interestingly enough, it doesn’t matter if it’s authentic or not, since the end result is the same. I know that my sense of humor has gotten me through a difficult childhood, divorce, and several health issues. It has been my souls’ preservation. If you want to increase your humor quotient, start paying more attention to what makes you laugh. Not everyone laughs at the same things. I was never one for finding slapstick comedy funny. My kids loved the three stooges, I didn’t. I’m more in tune with Ellen DeGeneres, Billy Crystal and Jerry Seinfeld. But I am also likely to find the funny in the everyday of my existence. That’s why I try to impress upon my audiences that they should try to discover their own inner sitcom, which will allow them to be amused even when their alone. Which means if you “show up” you’ll become your own entertainment center.
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