We agree with Cynthia.
Cynthia is one of our newsletter subscribers and she suggested that the power of laughter, fun and having a humorous attitude is a great way to keep relationships growing, alive and connected and we totally agree with her.
Norman Cousins, in his books Anatomy of an Illness and Head First, proved that laughter creates endorphins within the body that actually helps promote healing when physical illness is present. Cousins cured his cancer by watching funny movies, reading jokes, books, and listening to tapes of comedy performances. Laughter truly was his medicine.
A few years ago, Robin Williams starred in a film about a physician in West Virginia named Patch Adams who used humor as part of his “bed side manner” to help ease the pain of children who had been diagnosed as terminally ill.
So the point is–if laughter can heal sick people and ease their pain, imagine what it can do for your relationships.
In our relationship, we’ve found that laughter is a great way for us to connect.
We’ve been taking a few days off vacationing with friends at Folly Island beach and we’ve had a great time watching the dogs romp and play on the beach. We were awed by the black lab who caught the frisbee perfectly each time her owner threw it.
As we walked along the water’s edge, we laughed as we watched other dogs run and play in the cold, ocean waves. They were having so much fun that we found ourselves having an equally good time watching them.
You don’t have to go to the beach to enjoy the connection of fun and laughter.
Here are some suggestions for bringing more fun and laughter into your life:
1. If you’re in a marriage or committed relationship, do something together that would be fun for both of you. Find something that you haven’t done in a long time that used to bring you laughter and joy and do it. It might even be something new that you try.
Rent a funny movie, watch and play with little kids or play catch with a dog.
It doesn’t have to be something that’s planned and is sometimes best when the experience is spontaneous.
Our walk on the beach was a spontaneous experience for us, as well as the unexpectant fun of watching the dogs running and playing.
2. Laugh at yourself when you find that you are taking yourself too seriously. We do this when we see that we’ve fallen into old patterns that haven’t served us and we can look at ourselves from a vantage point outside of ourselves. Laughter can really break through disconnection if it’s not done at another’s expense.
Here’s a great idea for reframing a situation when there’s been disconnection between two people. In challenging situations, people are fond of saying “Someday we’ll look back on this and laugh.” We suggest that instead of waiting until later to look at the situation and laugh, why don’t we laugh now and create a closer connection.
That certainly doesn’t mean abdicating responsibility or making fun of another person.
Otto remembered something that happened a few years ago that beautifully illustrates this idea…
He and his son stopped at a restaurant to eat while on their way to his son’s basketball game. As Otto got out of his car, he realized that he had just locked his keys inside. Ordinarily this would have been one of those tense times when he might say that it’s not funny now but we’ll look on it later and laugh about it.
Otto chose not to get upset about it and instead enjoyed his lunch with his son while waiting for help to arrive to unlock the car unlocked.
What Otto and his son did was laugh about the situation by telling other stories about locked keys in cars to break the tension of the prospect that they might be late for the game. They weren’t late for the game and they ended up having a great time that day together.
So what we suggest is to take every opportunity to have fun and laugh this week.
We hope that you use this article as a reminder to open to having more fun and laughter in your life to help keep your relationships alive and growing now and always.