Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Laughter is like medicine!

“A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.” (Prov 15:13 MESSAGE)

“A keen sense of humor helps us to overlook the unbecoming, understand the unconventional, tolerated the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected, and outlast the unbearable." Billy Graham

You have to have a great sense of humor to keep your marriage fun.  Know how to make your spouse laugh.  Train yourself to see some humor in situations.  Develop a sense of humor if you're a "stiffneck"!  Sometimes I would pretend I was in a sitcom, and I would find situations much more comical!

Over the years, during the most stressful times, a sense of humor has brought us through.  My husband is a very intense person, and over the years I have found little things that can make him laugh and lighten up his intensity.   Avoid sarcasm in your sense of humor, because something sarcasm has a "bite" to it.   Although it takes a little work and effort to bring it into practice, a well developed sense of humor is the "sunshine of the mind."  

A sense of humor is a very particular developed sense of perspective that allows you to access joy even in adversity.  Joe Love, in his article Developing Your Sense of Humor, states a few key elements:

The idea is that a sense of perspective when it comes to humor allows you to see yourself in the scope of things rather than always at the center of things. Most of us have a tendency as to believe that any problem we are confronting and facing at particular moment is the most important thing that is going on in the world.

This way of looking at problems is a very heavy responsibility. It makes you feel as if the problem is everywhere and it becomes the focus of your being. This is why a developed sense of humor is so important, because it allows you to see yourself in the scope of things rather than always at the center of things.

When you look at things with a sense of humor perspective, it enables you to have a remarkable capacity to control how you see the things that are going on in your life. You cannot control the external events in your life, but you can control how you look at them.

An important part of a developed sense of humor is the capacity to take yourself lightly, even though you may take your work or your problem very seriously. A sense of joy in being alive is an intimate component of the human will to live. It’s not abstract, but it’s not easy either, you have to work at it.

One of the best ways to develop your sense of humor is to make a list of all things that make you happy, that put a smile on your face, or give you joy. Make of a list of the things you do or once did that you don’t have time for anymore, that nourish and sustain your sense of joy. List the things that enliven you and strengthen your spirit, so that when a problem occurs you’ve got a reason to combat it and have the flexibility to see it though to a successful conclusion.

The root form of humor is umar in Latin. It means to be fluid and flexible like water and that is what humor is about. It’s staying flexible so you don’t get broken by the difficulties you confront. Being flexible enables your creative mind to stay open so that you can still come up with solutions even in painful situations.

Making a list of the things that make you happy sounds simple, but it’s not. I’ve done it with thousands of people over the past ten years and what I’ve found is that most adults over the age of 35 cannot write down more than three things that give that make them happy. They will invariably start off with something such as, “my work, I love my work.”

Misery is not subtle. Pain is not subtle. Joy, humor, and laughter are very often subtle. So you have to pay attention to them to start activating them into your life and that’s what this list will help you to do.

Making a list of all the things that you enjoy and put a smile on your face will not only help develop your sense of humor but it also gives you the opportunity to find out more about the people in your life and what makes them happy and this will enable you to help them develop their sense of humor. When you are able to give other people joy and put a smile on their face, especially when they need it most, you will be giving them the greatest gift you can give.

Challenge:  Develop your sense of humor this week!  Bring it into your life!  Give your spouse JOY and put a SMILE on their face, especially when they need it the most!  LAUGH and see the bright side of problems -- deal with the problems and then put the positive spin of a good sense of humor onto them!  

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