Guess what is the most underestimated, most readily available thing that can brighten our day in an instant?
If you said humour, you’d be right.
What better than a good dose of laughter to get on with life? And yet, we all know how difficult this might be, especially with so many stressors sapping all our energy leaving us sulking, brooding and even ‘contaminating’ (if I may use the word) ourselves and those around us with worries, negativity and stress!
In fact, humour doesn’t always fall into place or make us laugh. Often, it is the last thing on our minds when in a crisis or a grave situation, be it the illness of a family member, a death or even a break-up that someone’s going through. Worse still, if this is happening to us.
I cannot describe how I’ve spent days trying to get over a broken friendship or someone’s rude words and now, most recently, seeing my kid upset with his own set of issues, some which have no easy solutions. I remember once going for a film that promised to be funny, solely because a friend thought it would help me pull myself out of misery. I went, albeit reluctantly— but once there, realised how contagious laughter was and how quickly it worked to get me out of the slump.
Humour is nothing but a paradigm shift of sorts— that gives us this ability to see the flip side of life and learn to be more accepting of who we are, warts and all. The ability to laugh at ourselves perhaps being the most effective means of helping us get rid of the baggage that we love to carry throughout our lives.
So how easy is it to see humour in our everyday lives?
Not as easy as one thinks. Certainly, a struggle if you are perpetually stressed (a bit like me these days). Like, how these days, I feel my sense of humour has abandoned me for good. Wonder if I’m the same person who used to draw cartoons and do mimicry, or write funny skits with my gang of friends during the hostel days? No, trust me, I seriously wonder if that was the real me or is this the one that I see now? As we grow older, I think many of us tend to get serious and stop appreciating the banal and ludicrous that is as much a part of our life. It was so easy to see the funny side of things and burst out laughing then. Or why would I tend to worry more than laugh these days? Why would stress pull me down all too often leading me to fight or flight situations. I feel like an escapist at times when I try to run from things that demand my time and attention and I know there isn’t an easy answer.
And so it is with this intention that I have made a start – I’m trying to find ways to laugh in the everyday situations that tend to stress me out. One area this is proving very helpful is in handing my teen who is making me look at parenting in a totally different light these days. (More on that coming later). I’ve always felt that parenting has altered me beyond my own expectations, but the fact that one day it would also turn all my theories on life upside down was something I was never prepared for!
For now, of course, I have the realisation that there’s perhaps no better armour to deal with the slings of life than our ability to laugh it off when we can do little else but be mute spectators. We are both learning no doubt—not just the kid who begins to see the world in its true colours, but me too, as a parent. And to think, I thought I had it all sorted as a mom, all this while! Learning to change one’s age old beliefs and adapting to a new way of living is never easy but not altogether impossible. Life lessons come in so many ways, I tell you!
And now, I’d like to know how you cope with life? Does humour come to you easily? Do you tend to laugh it off or stress yourself over things more often? I’d really like to hear your side of the story, because I believe we are grappling with similar issues everyday and there is nothing better than shared wisdom to help us laugh off what we cannot swallow. What would you say to that?
Linking this with #mondaymusings by Corinne of EverydayGyaan.
I love humor but i’m not a humor person in nature. Loved reading your heart.
We are all so different, aren’t we? enjoying humour and being humorous are two entirely different things and a lot of us are in that category with you, Vasantha, and I think that’s okay too. So glad to see you share your thoughts here.
Me too, Esha !!!
I’m really into balancing humor with serious and sometimes frightening topics in life. It comes out in my blog and other forms of writing. I think sometimes we can look at parts of life that are difficult if we see them through a humorous lens.
I hear you, Cathi. You are absolutely right abut humour diffusing the painful aspects of life, which makes them so much more palatable for us, I guess! Thanks for the shared wisdom.
Or else…maybe it’s a reminder of balance in the world of all kinds. In my blog, I’m trying to balance gladness and sadness. I always appreciate that you share your thoughts with me.
You did mimicry and wrote funny skits, now that’s a discovery for me 🙂
I hear you, Esha, it is indeed tough to find the funny bone when one is stressed out when negativity is thrown into one’s face repeatedly or when life’s challenges cease to exist. The last time I asked why the life’s fights have to continue? And I agreed with your reply that how can one stop fighting. Thanks to my stars, I was able to distance myself from the negative people in my life, first physically and later mentally too and my fights ended. But had I been in the same situation of living 24×7 in the same negative environment, how would my life have been? Same I suppose – stressed and full of struggles. Today, after staying low for a little time, I am able to overcome and detach myself and this is when humour arises. Writing a humourous piece is always helpful for me whether it is dealing with the Sanskaar rock or the persuasion to have a second child. Having said this, it may also have to do something about deliberation or training the mind to look for the humour.
Yes, Anamika. With close friends, I’ve been able to explore my own hidden traits, something which many of my own family may not have been aware of. My youngest maasi was my friend in all this. She was the only one who knew how I could imitate people and one day, my mom saw me and realised that like her, I too was a closet mimicry artist. Over the years, so many things changed within me, the fun-loving person got trampled upon by life’s realities and many a cruel blow later, I did strengthen myself up, but lost much of my spontaneous humour that used to be there in my college days. Stress is killing me inside, too many factors and too many things, the obvious manifestation of this is my migraine. Now, the only mantra I keep chanting is —”this too shall pass.”
Reminds me of the section in Reader’s digest- Laughter’s the best medicine!!
You are right – making light of things is the easiest way to get over /through them. Often we drag not just ourselves but peeps around us, into a dpresive state through the ills plaguing us. We forget that these troubles are momentary and need to be tackled positively rather than moaning and groaning all day over them.
I find I have started to stay away from folks who are always just finding something to moan about in their entire day/life/relationships …… Its as if they cant be happy in any situation. Its made me re-look at how I present my self all through out the day/ in every interaction with friends and family and I have started to not mention my troubles or make light of them to ensure thats not the last thing they remember about me.
Loved your POV and I hope you find tonnes of laughter – head to Anamika’s blog for some as I got loads today!!!
I am pathetic in a stressful situation, Esha. I forget to laugh, or even smile at something inane that would otherwise induce laughter! I just crumble from within, although I do try to put up an ‘indifferent’ facade for the world…so they stay unaware of my inner situation.
You are a member of what we in the United States call the “sandwich generation” (children and aging parents) and it is a tough place to be. I help care of a 90 year old mother in law and a developmentally disabled brother in law so I hear you. You either laugh or cry. Sometimes you do both. Humor is the best way to cope. Sometimes it is black humor! Feeling gratitude helps, too.
I wish I could go back to those Saltlake days when we used to laugh over silly stuff..even a simple game of cricket on TV evoked so much fun. Come what may we should never stop to smile and laugh.
Humour is definitely a stress buster. But, I try to not worry about things I cannot control. I will also not brood about something for a long time. I just forget and move on. Your post is very much from the heart.
Humour is definitely something that de-stress me. I refrain from reading sad stuff or watching emotional dramas or series because they impact me deeply. I watch every kind of humour series that is available on youtube or netflix. You would be surprised how positive and happy it can make you feel. I have been doing that for years now … It makes me forget about the stress of real life.
Find that funny bone Esha… Don’t let the stress take away your laughter 😊 love and hugs to you.