Recently, I checked in with a New Vibe alumni and dear friend who has lived a life of many trials and troubles during her sixty plus years. I asked her how she was able to withstand the many disappointments of life. She smiled and kindly said, “Humor has been my medicine.” Wow, how often we underestimate the life-giving potion of humor. The term humor derives from the ancient Greeks who taught the balance of fluids in the body manages the wellness of the person and humor helps bring our minds and heart into balance.
In 1964 Norman Cousin, who was a teacher and later author of the book, “The Anatomy of an Illness,” visited his doctor and discovered he had but months to live. With a beautiful wife and four daughters, he desperately wanted to live, despite the news of his incurable disease with little chance of surviving. Norman developed his own wellness program from his assessment of what made him feel vibrant. He took vitamins (especially Vitamin C) along with implementing a positive attitude, faith, hope and love and laughter. He watched endless comedy shows and it was revealed that the positive emotion (humor) was directly connected to positive chemical changes in his body. Norman found a cure through humor and lived 36 more years. If you are looking for preventative medicine, find something to laugh about.
Here are three steps for your own immunization through humor:
- LAUGH OUT LOUD: Give yourself permission to just laugh out loud for no good reason. Laughing is actually a great workout for your muscles and improves your alertness and creativity. How can you get emotions that are more positive back into your life? Start laughing and you will find great vibes for life and it will be contagious.
- LAUGH AT YOURSELF: Learning to laugh at yourself is not easy but necessary. That simply says, “I’m not taking myself so seriously.” We actually change physiologically whenever we laugh because of an increase in flow of endorphins from the adrenaline system. It’s like taking a chill pill, which shifts our moods, and guides us to see the situation or ourselves from a different perspective.
- LAUGH WITH OTHERS: Laughing at others is not cool, but laughing with others is the coolest. Sharing humor increases the connection between people and creates a bond. Smiling and laughing with someone primes the pump to join in on the fun and celebrate life. Consider this, when working with a coach, make sure they have a good sense of humor. It’s really good medicine.
Carl Casanova, M.S.