There's no life without humour. It can make the wonderful moments of life truly glorious, and it can make tragic moments bearable.
How many times, at a serious or upsetting moment, have you heard someone say, "one day, we will laugh about this"? Or if you have felt down in the dumps, you have turned to a favourite funny film or television programme to cheer yourself up?
Humour is one of those things which is often taken for granted. Or we can be accused of not taking something seriously just because we make a joke or take an off slant view of a situation. But humour is a basic instinct and something which is essential to all of us; there are some good studies in serious magazines about the value, mentally and physically, of humour.
Humour can break down barriers; create bonds; make things seem more attractive; help put things in perspective; create a light moment at a time of upset; break a mood and reignite your creativity; make you feel better about yourself; change your outlook. It is one of the best ways to get you through a bad day or to make a connection with another person.
And you can create an atmosphere of humour for yourself. For example, I used to listen to Radio 4's Today programme because I wanted to keep abreast of the news, but even as one of life's natural optimists, I was often left feeling despondent about the state of the world. With the advent of apps for news channels and newspapers (and Twitter) on my phone, I now get my news in small, less depressing, chunks throughout the day. And by switching from Today to Radio4 Extra, my mornings are spent listening to comedy programmes whilst getting ready for work. Even a not so good comedy show puts me in a much lighter mood for the day.
Humour is easy when things are going well. The trick is to find the humour at the times of stress and darkness. Sometimes it just happens automatically, as people break the tension, but if I am having a really rotten day, 5 minutes of Buster Keaton can make everything so much better. Or failing that, I just throw in the towel and watch Some Like It Hot!
Do yourself a favour and have a good laugh today.
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