Laughter really is the best medicine. It's a physiological response to humor. Laughter releases tension, excretes endorphins, makes you happier, and is contagious. Thus, the importance of finding humor in your daily life: in all your endeavors, in yourself, your spouse/marriage, your career, and even in your mistakes. As we enter adulthood and experience all life has to offer, it sometimes feels too serious - especially if you've suffered a traumatic experience, are grieving the death of a loved one, lost your job, are going through divorce, etc. But look, if babies can laugh (without cognitive understanding of what they even find humorous), then why can't we, as adults, use our intelligence to find humor in everything? So how do we find humor in everyday life if we're not used to seeing it?
Look For It.
Start spending time with people you find funny. Watch comedians you respect. Opening yourself up to laughter on a frequent basis will become habit and you'll start to see humor everywhere in life. Set a goal of finding 3 humorous things that make you laugh everyday. Pretend you'll be paid $250 each time you find something funny. I bet you find some great content. Look for humor in headlines, ads, and in road signage. I once was in Baltimore, Maryland, and was approaching the end of a street. There was a lot of signage in one title spot. What grabbed my attention was this: there was a STOP sign, and right after the STOP sign was another large sign that read, "Don't stop." Baltimore told me to STOP, Don't Stop. So I stopped, backed up, and took a picture (there was no sign saying I couldn't). I laughed about that the rest of the day. Here are a few famous headlines that are quite funny...
• Tiger Woods plays with own balls, Nike says.
• Statistics show teen pregnancy drops off considerably after age 25.
• Federal agents raid gun shop, find weapons.
• Utah Poison Control Center reminds everyone not to take poison.
• Meeting on open meetings is closed.
• Volunteers search for old civil war planes.
• County pays $250,000 to advertise lack of funds.
Ohhhhh, the irony.
Talk to Friends About Funny Experiences.
Have conversations with others about what they find humorous. They'll likely, in return, ask you what you find humorous. Next thing you know, you'll be sharing experiences and laughing at some pretty funny stuff. A musician friend of mine once told me his most embarrassing moment: his band was on stage playing a volunteer performance for a large group of Veterans. ((Now, please know this man has a big, good, and loving heart, is very intelligent and has a great sense of humor.)) A few people made remarks during the performance (I don't remember the details of the how the conversation on stage was going) and, from stage, he said, "Yep, it's like a wounded dog with a missing leg and glass eye." He laughed, he thought his joke was funny. The crowd fell silent, he was confused. Then he noticed some of the men were wounded Vets and the leader of their organization was missing a leg and had a glass eye. Yep, that happened. A girlfriend of mine told me her most embarrassing moment: she was a bridesmaid in a wedding, and between the wedding and reception, she nursed her baby. Upon the grand entrance at the reception where the bridal party was introduced, she waltzed in, had all eyes on her, noticed many people's mouthes drop open and then everyone just smiled with wide eyes at her. She was thinking she must have looked very pretty that night. Then her husband informed her she forgot to button her blouse. Yep, that happened. The best thing to do with a negative experience is to laugh at yourself, learn from it, and realize you now have a funny story that will make others laugh.
Laugh at Yourself.
I don't mean you should laugh at yourself in a disrespectful, mean, or self-deprecating way, just don't take yourself too seriously. We all experience embarrassing things because we goof up (my girlfriend), do something silly, and speak before thinking (my musician friend). To develop the ability to laugh at yourself, start with humility. If you possess humility, you realize that everyone makes mistakes, including you. It also takes a backbone, strength, and self confidence. If you possess strength and self confidence, you really don't mind laughing at your mishaps. Plus, when you can laugh at yourself, it helps others feel a connection with you because they see your vulnerability (in sharing / acknowledging a mistake), and they'll admire your strength in being able to laugh at yourself. This is contagious and they'll soon be laughing at themselves. Spread the love.
For Business Owners.
As entrepreneurs, we constantly make mistakes. It's one way we learn. The important thing is to, again, laugh at yourself, change things up, and go at it again. Keep going until you get it right. And know that with catastrophic mistakes, if you look, you'll find something funny to laugh and tell others about for years.
I'll leave you with a quote from Dr. Seuss..... “From there to here and here to there, funny things are everywhere.”