Sometimes Laughing is a Serious Matter
Stop and think a minute about how many times a day something or someone causes you to smile. Now think how long it’s been since you’ve really laughed from the depths of your being; a laugh that you just couldn’t contain.
Children laugh an average of 400 times a day. An adult laughs 15 to 20 times a day.
When did we stop laughing? What happened that made us lose our ability to laugh?
“To irritate authoritative figures, children devote a considerable amount of energy to “clowning around”. They do not want to appreciate the seriousness of our huge concerns, while we forget that if we became a little more like children, maybe our concerns wouldn’t be so huge.”
Most of the time maturity is associated with seriousness. Laughter is considered a key feature of childhood, which causes us to unconsciously stigmatize laughter as a childish behavior, and create mental patterns that lead us to dismiss it.
In this way, we fall into equating adulthood with seriousness and we lose our sense of humor, laughter, and our ability to be surprised.
The fear of not being serious or unprofessional makes us hide our laughter. This couldn’t be any further from the truth; it’s one thing to take everything as a joke and another thing to have a sense of humor.
Paradoxically, laughter is the language of the intelligent. At the end of the day, humor is inherently transgressive. With humor, we can break the preset mold set by a dogmatic society. It gives us another perspective, or way of seeing things. And when we have different points of view, we can appreciate all the small things.
Laughing can help you learn to see yourself from a distance, and not take yourself so seriously. Laughter downplays the situation, allowing us to learn to see things from another point of view.
Imagine a picture: If we get too close to it, we cannot enjoy all of it as a whole. We see only one part. The same thing happens with problems. With laughter we can see “the big picture” from all perspectives.
Rescue your sense of humor! Be real! A genuine sense of humor is your best bet to manage your emotions. Laugh at the long faces, and the snooty people. Laugh at your stupidity, your insecurities; laugh at your jealousy. Enough sad faces. Enough drama, hardship and pity.
Laugh at your clumsiness, your mistakes. Laughter liberates and takes the weight off. It makes you fly. Have a laugh that is infectious; you’ll release stress and negativity. Smile left and right. And even more at the people who look at you with a serious face. See if it rubs off on them.
Go find someone intelligent with whom you can laugh like a fool. The best relationships are built with a sense of humor. Laughter gives us a sense of immediacy and closeness with the other person, and there is nothing more fun than laughing with a friend about something only you two understand, even at the risk of looking stupid to others.
Value those who make you laugh. And it’s even better if you’re laughing hysterically because it is doing more for you than any tranquilizer or antidepressant could.
To get through this life, we all need a sense of humor. Remember that sometimes laughing is the most serious thing.