Thursday, September 16, 2010

Truth Tool - Humor

Laughter is medicine for the soul. Too many of us take ourselves far too seriously, but by learning to laugh at ourselves we open up whole new areas of healthy living. We can do this in many ways. One thing that works for me is to use my over-stimulated imagination and when I start to worry or have other negative feelings I exaggerate the things I’m worrying about to the extreme until suddenly I’m laughing at the preposterousness of what I’m thinking.

I’m embarrassed to admit it now, but years ago whenever my husband came home late, I’d find myself thinking, “Oh no! He’s been in an accident!” And I’d have the funeral planned, and sometimes even got to the point I was in tears as I pondered how I was going to support the children all by myself. But I’ve learned that when I start thinking “accident” to change to a funny story like Mr. J decided to stop and hike to the top the mountain and then I imagine him in his shirt and tie, trying to hike. I let my imagination go all out. He’s taking along his briefcase and laptop and fighting the brush back with it held in front of him like a shield. His face is full of determination and when he gets to the top of the mountain, he rips open his shirt to reveal a big “S” for Superman. Besides keeping me feeling good, when I do this my husband arrives home to a cheerful wife instead of a morose one.

Someone one told me that you’re going to laugh about most of the situations of life when you look back on them, so why not laugh now. Learning to see the humor in the situations, even the mistakes we make, instead of beating ourselves up over things, is a powerful Truth Tool.

And if you are careful and avoid sarcasm, Humor can be used to change tense situations. I’ve told this story before but it is worth repeating. One day Mr. J came home from work so grouchy that everyone avoided him. He went in his office and we all went into the kitchen to get dinner. As D3 was setting the table I noticed that she put a large cereal bowl of sugar at her dad’s place. I waited to see what was going on. Finally dinner was ready and we called Mr. J in to eat. As he approached his place he stopped and growled, “What’s this?”

D3 timidly spoke up, “We thought if you ate that you’d be a lot sweeter.” He started to laugh, all the stress left him, and he returned to his cheerful self.

Humor, can be biting and sarcastic and hurtful, but when used correctly it can be a powerful Tool to help us stay firmly grounded in the Realm of Truth.

4 comments:

GRANDMA MUFFIN said...

So good. I love the Truth Tools. Thanks so much for sharing.

P.S. The best part is that they really work!

Happy Granny said...

You are right, it is hard to be upset or mad when you are laughing. I think of the times when an upset turned into a funny moment because someone thought to use humor, and how quickly a negative moment can be diffused. Kids can be very good at this, and it's good as adults to use the Humor tool when possible. I think it also pulls relationships closer because of the positive effect humor can have in a situation.

SuSu said...

I love to laugh and some days that is all you can do! And when my day is one of "those" days, I try to laugh even harder! Laughter really is the best medicine!

Wendi said...

I posted this on my blog earlier this week ~ In the March 2000 Ensign, President James E. Faust gave this counsel about balance: "There is, however, a defense against adversity: humor. For many years as I have blessed newborn children, including my own, I have blessed them with a sense of humor. I do this with the hope that it will help guard them against being too rigid, that they will have balance in their lives.... It is important that we all learn to laugh at ourselves. An important dimension in learning to laugh at ourselves lies in not being afraid to make a mistake....And balance also lies in attitude. May our attitude be one of achieving balance and wisdom and understanding in all that we do."