I’ve conducted hundreds of seminars for cancer patients, survivors, and their family members; and I’ve been awestruck by their incredible ability to laugh at what would make most of us shudder. We all know that cancer doesn’t choose its hosts based on people’s health—-or lack of it. Although it certainly makes sense to choose a balanced lifestyle rather than one that is filled with processed foods, lack of exercise and too much stress. It could make a difference, but it doesn’t guarantee you won’t get cancer. Aside from the obvious lifestyle choices, what has always astounded me is how many individuals with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses are invested in using humor as a coping mechanism. Called “gallows humor”, it supplies individuals with a way to deflect the stress their experiencing, and also gain access to chemistry that helps lift their spirits. Life is going to hand you lemons—-there’s no question about that. But instead of making lemonade, as the cliche goes, you may want to throw them out and try to find the humor in the situation. Finding comic relief in bad situations can be a lifesaver. Obviously there are life events that are more egregious than others. But don’t wait for a dismal diagnosis to get started. If you begin to utilize your humor to defuse the stress of every day frustrations, you will soon become more and more proficient and it will soon be an automatic response. See yourself as athlete in training. I often find humor in ads on TV. They become more and more absurd with each warning at the end of the commercial. They spend at least half of the ad scaring the living hell out of you. I also love the ways retail stores use doublespeak to sell products. I once went in to buy a new mattress and was greeted by a “sleep consultant”, who was dressed not unlike an emergency room physician.He insisted I needed to assess my sleep quotient. I started to feel like I was preparing for a CAT scan rather than buying a bed. Driving can become amusing if you notice the signs along the road and take them literally: i.e. soft shoulder, bear right, blind driveway, brake for Moose! The reality of life is that we are all going to get a chance to suffer! Try to incorporate humor into your daily life by perhaps listening to your favorite comic when you’re driving, watch funny movies or at least ones that lift your spirits often. Hang out with people who like to laugh. We know that “misery likes company”, but it’s much better to be with those who love mirth and mayhem. Most importantly , become a self amuser. Than if no one shows up, you’ll still have fun.
6 Replies to “Misery loves company but it’s more fun to hang with people who love mirth!”
You need to be good to yourself, and positive so that you can spread it to everyone. I practice a smile when I meditate because when I think of a simple smile, it makes me feel good for the entire day.
Having been left alone too much as a young child, I learned how to amuse myself. Now I am grateful. I seldom get bored and discover fascinating things which most people miss. I suspect you are really on to something here: perhaps the beginning of all independent thinking, and therefore getting free of the “consensus trance” is being able to amuse oneself with whatever happens to be around. Thank you, Loretta, for writing these – they are useful and usable offerings. Thrive and shine!
Loretta, I couldn’t agree with you More! Your video: “How Serious Is This?!” is Tonic to me 🙂
I played it over and over and over, even while I slept. Your philosophy and your laughter was such good therapy, leaves me wondering, who does that for you? To whom do you turn to for an uplift?
Thanks Loretta, you have been a life saver for me with your wise and witty words !
Laughing in the face of pain is denial and I think a mild form of insanity.
Maybe instead of laughing at negative things it would be more beneficial to be exposed to actual positive things. Like, if you just lost your job and it’s freezing cold outside, instead of standing out in the cold and laughing about it, maybe go inside and take a nap under a pile of warm blankets.
This idea of laughing at everything is self-destructive.
Nothing can exist without its opposite. If you take pleasure in pain and you also take pleasure in real pleasure, then real pleasure means nothing (and neither does pain) because there is no contrast. Basically, you have no reason to exist because nothing means anything.
I don’t trust people who smile too much. They’re either sociopaths or they’re hiding something.