Somewhere between sorrow and euphoria, there is an emotional part of us that tends to lie dormant. We forget to give it a proper workout, so it languishes there patiently awaiting its turn. It’s our funny gene. We all have one; some are geared to an audience (the stand-up comic variety) and some are for private use only (the proper giggle type).
Whether we laugh out loud or chuckle to ourselves, we should all work to flex our happy muscles. In the course of a day, there are probably more than a few instances where the personal interpretation of our experiences will fall short of our expectations. That’s where the funny gene comes in. Once we unleash it, it overrides the negativity and the anxiousness of the moment, much like that ocean wave that knocks you down and spins you around until you get all that saltwater up your nose and sand inside your bathing suit. I got carried away, but you get the idea. Basically, it lightens our outlook and gives us an internal “thumbs-up.”
Are you ready to get started? OK, think of the last time you scolded yourself for something that happened to you. Rather than playing it over and over again in your head, find the humor in it (it’s there somewhere, just look for it). Now replay it and yuk it up a bit; that’s it! It’s not that difficult; a few minutes of soul searching can make all the difference.
I discovered this phenomenon quite by accident when my attempts at being graceful always seemed to be thwarted by an unwelcome visit from the awkward fairy:
– When all eyes were on me, as I walked proudly through a seated crowd at a business luncheon, only to find out that a huge cloth napkin was still dangling from my belt.
– When, at a chance meeting with 2 CEOs, the mint I was sucking on fell out of my mouth and they both politely dove down to pick it up, thinking it was my tooth.
– When a planned dramatic entrance down our family home’s staircase one date night fortunately only led to 2 bloody knees and a bruised ego.
– When my date gallantly opened my car door on prom night, then accidently shut it on my fingers resulting in me washing the blood off my white gown, drying it under the ladies room hand dryer and wearing 2 white gloves stuffed with tissues on my one hand (in a tribute to Michael Jackson) to stop the bleeding.
Science has already proven that laughter can make us look and feel younger, cure illnesses and extend our lives. Take it from 95-year-old Carl Reiner and his 2 nonagenarian pals, Norman Lear and Mel Brooks. Together, they have been laughing for over 279 years and are still writing, producing and acting. Carl Reiner says he starts each day glancing at the obituaries. If he doesn’t see his name, he has breakfast.
Don’t take yourself so seriously; remember you are laughing with yourself, not at yourself. It’s time to reboot! The last thing you want is a flabby laugh physique due to inactivity. So, drop and give me 50… chortles or cackles, your choice.