Why is Humor Important?

Regular doses of humor fuel our whole selves from the inside out. Within minutes of a humor injection good vibes start to percolate in our cells and flow outward. Humor relaxes us and points us in a positive direction. Our brains get excited and imaginations crack open. We naturally settle into a playful place and break away from the stress zone. What is humor?

 Humor maximizes and strengthens the joyful part of us and gives us so much good energy.

Humor maximizes and strengthens the joyful part of us and gives us so much good energy.

Does humor transforms us and our relationships? Yes! Humor breaks down barriers between people and shows us we are not so different after all. In that place of silliness we bond to others. Resistance lessens. We return to the playground where humanity intersects with the heart.

How can we maximize and strengthen the joyful part of us which gives us so much energy in return? Tap into these four valuable humor insights:

Have you ever met someone who laughs at something most people would find painful or hopeless? Life gives us reasons to experience laughter and tears. Some of us have figured out that humor busts our minds out of the grind and keeps us feeling young and well. Others learn that crying is better reserved for special occasions and is not a productive daily activity. As a social worker at a cancer center, I witnessed patients who used humor to heal, and others who believed cancer was no laughing matter.

Isn't it great when we look back at our lives and break down in uncontrollable laughter? Think about it: just remembering someone's laughing face from the past makes us laugh. Whenever I run into people from high school, I get a twinkle in my eye and tell my belly it's time to shake. No doubt, these encounters serve as opportunities to dig up a funny memory and laugh together. I am grateful time makes no difference when it comes to humor.

Who tickles your funny bone? Let's face it. Funny people are irresistible. We are drawn to and depend on people who make us laugh. Just the thought of a funny person can put a smile on our faces today and maybe will even 100 years from now. We can instantly visualize the way they speak, use facial expressions, and even their bodies to heighten delivery. They are Master Maximizers of Humor. 

As I turned to YouTube for comedic inspiration, a Robin Williams video (RIP) popped up.  I watched it with great appreciation for his over-the-top gift of hilarity. Then I shared the video with my husband so we could laugh it out together. This instant comic relief was a wonderful surprise that uplifted us.

How does humor show us a lighter side? Humor creates unique breakthroughs in times of breakdowns. It also makes it easier to travel back to a trying time and see things from a lighter perspective. It clears up dried debris, filling us with a fresh glass of fun. Laughter releases parts of the brain and heart that hold on to negativity and suffering. It instructs emotions to wake up on the right side of the bed.

I won't forget a joyful lady named Carol at the cancer center. She had brain cancer, and for years came in for a weekly treatment. Carol sat in the same chair every Friday. She spread her laughter all over the place. "Carol's Corner" became a hub where patients clamored for one of the coveted treatment chairs to be near her. Staff loved it when Carol was around because her light helped them smile and get through the day. "Laugh and the world laughs with you" was Carol's cancer-fighting creed for living.