Humor is attractive to other people and acts as a great connector. We feel closer to others when we share laughter over our common human foibles. In laughing with each other, we are reminded that we are part of the same human tribe. We use our laughter instead of language to communicate, “I’m with you. I get that!”
The average child laughs hundreds of times a day. The average adult laughs only a dozen times a day. What happens?
There is no one answer, but in our super busy lives, we tend to take things (and ourselves) very seriously. We need to put ourselves on a path to laughter and seek opportunities to lighten up!
When I was newly single, I bought an electric edger. There were three steps in the instructions for how to assemble it. I proudly showed my achievement to one of my friends while commenting that I couldn’t seem to get it to work. He immediately responded that I had assembled it upside down. We had a huge laugh over what was more frightening: that although the instructions were in English, I still couldn’t follow them, or the fact that I had no idea that the edger was upside down.
When in grief, many of us tend to isolate. We may feel like we’re not good company, because we don’t feel light or fun. We don’t want to bring down the group vibe, so we opt to keep to ourselves. Some people tend to think that laughter and mourning are mutually exclusive. How can I find something funny? My loved one just died (or left). Laughter becomes a shame trigger.
Yet laughter isn’t reserved only for happy times. It is a healer. Brene Brown writes in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, “Laughter, song and dance create emotional and spiritual connection; they remind us of the one thing that truly matters when we are searching for comfort, celebration, inspiration, or healing: We are not alone.”
When was the last time you had a belly laugh? Who was there? How can you put yourself on a path to laughter?