Life got serious enough without taking ourselves seriously. Try to let go and see the humour in situations. It can make problems easier to solve too.
When we laugh, we forget that there’s only so many things that need to be taken that seriously, at least in the developed world. Of course, there are definite times that sadness is expected and necessary. For with the blessings in life, there is by definition losses too, for we can’t be happy for what we have without feeling the pain of what there is to be without them.
Amazingly, however, it is in the developed world where mental health issues are so many where we have a whole book to classify them, and psychosomatic illnesses due to stress like stomach ulcers are pandemic.
We are born with an innate sense of humour, a carefree delight in the simple wonder of things. Our self-concept isn’t founded on anything to do with job worries, or what people think of us, or whether we fit in. Somewhere along the way, we are taught that it really does matter what high heel shoes we wear. Where we are on the social and career ladders is a serious consideration to our self-worth, and that we need to surrender being ourselves to varying degrees. Otherwise we won’t fit in.
Of course, it is hard to often find things to laugh about. For me, I find that sharing experiences common to all human beings, at least in the Western world can turn an experience that otherwise makes me feel like tearing my hair out, into something that is actually hilarious. For example, I earlier wrote about my frustration at not being able to install a program onto my computer. It had taken me so long that I really thought I must be stupid, and the only person who could not do these things. A dear friend of mine had exactly the same problem, and together we thought how funny it was that technology eludes us, and the drastic steps we had taken to get our issues fixed no longer seemed depressing, but something we could both laugh about together.
Doing things with another person or group of people can help bring humour to an activity that otherwise seems dull. A different friend of mine and myself were swimming. We decided to make up our own styles. What could have been a dutiful activity for physical fitness became a time of laughter, and exercise too.
Humour can be therapeutic to relationships. Instead of resenting shortcomings in the other, whether romantic partner, friend or family - we can choose to make light of them, by making them endearing quirks. I have found the other often reciprocates.
We can also learn to laugh at ourselves, and this is an extremely likeable trait. When I laugh at myself when I could choose to be upset by a comment, I help myself too. I actually do begin to think it's quite funny.
Being able to laugh during times of stress or conflict helps to balance what situations that otherwise might seem overwhelming. During the moment or moments of laughter, we forget, just for that time, the worries that otherwise seem hopeless. We realise that it really isn’t that big of a deal. We need to ask ourselves whether, in ten years time, will this really matter. Probably ninety-five percent of things wont. Don’t sweat the small stuff, but laugh at the small stuff instead.