We are all bombarded by more work to do and more worry to carry. But sometimes we just need to laugh. Sometimes we need to laugh together.
By Chris Maxwell
I know, life is serious.
I know, we are all bombarded by more work to do and more worry to carry.
And I know, we live sitting at a table of questions and more questions while the answers seem so distant.
I know, no one else knows the sadness of your story.
But I also know this.
Laughter can be like medicine. When done correctly, amusement can be therapy. When not joking in harsh, harmful, condemning, rude, vulgar, or abusive ways, humor can bring a little healing to our deep hurts.
Sometimes we just need to laugh. Sometimes we just need to laugh together.
What have you laughed about recently? Who have you laughed with?
Remember the importance of laughter
I take my medication right on time. I must. But I too often leave laughter at a distance.
Let’s remember the importance of appropriate laughter. Let’s not laugh at others; let’s laugh with others.
Realize why you are reluctant to laugh
Go back in time and investigate your life. Are you prone to giggle? Were you more likely to before but you now rarely laugh? Talk to friends and family. Talk to God. And talk to a counselor. Understand that laughter is good medicine for your body and your mind.
Pursue healthy and appropriate methods of humor
Don’t wait for the laughter to accidentally find you. Yes, there will be times of hilarious surprises. There will be unexpected April Fool’s Day jokes. But find a fitting show and watch it. Seek appropriate comedians and listen to them. Tell old family jokes—especially those about you—and laugh together with those you love.
Looking for laughter
I’m inviting us to find balance in the uneven surfaces of our stories. I’m hoping we can live with these principles which keep us stable even though we jog through life on jagged terrain. But I can think about the people around me and recall times I have laughed with them.“Laughter can be like medicine. When done correctly, amusement can be therapy.” — @CMaxMan Click To Tweet
The humor with my accountability groups—in offices or restaurants or retreats. The incorrectly worded statement I made when being filmed—which gave us an experience none of us have forgotten. The comedy among our sons—listening to their conversations and remembering the enjoyment in the family. The puns, anecdotes, and spins at work, at home, and when alone—laughter truly is like medicine for us. The specific ways some people laugh—their own methods amuse us more than the situations they hoot about. The smiles seen from pictures of long ago—I wonder if life really was better, simpler, and more peaceful when I notice the look on my young face.
But that takes us back to those questions I just asked. What have you laughed about recently? Who have you laughed with? How is the look on your face?
Take time to think about those questions. Take time to answer those questions. Detect tendencies toward, or away from, humor. Distinguish the value, or lack of, humor in your own life.
Yes, life is hard. These times are tough. You might not be wired to smile much, laugh much, or joke much. But, today, take time to chuckle. There are good clean jokes online—though I believe there are some in your own story.
Visit that place where you can find them. Do not hurry from that place.
Talk with family and friends who are funny. Do not rush away from those people. Go ahead. Laugh.
Sometimes we just need to laugh.
Sometimes we just need to laugh together.
Chris Maxwell served 19 years as lead pastor in Orlando, Florida, after five years of youth ministry. He’s now in his 16th year as Campus Pastor and Director of Spiritual Life at Emmanuel College.
Adapted from the book Equilibrium: 31 Ways to Stay Balanced on Life’s Uneven Surfaces.
For permission to republish this article, contact Marissa Postell.