“If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane”

Pandemic, international conflicts, climate crisis, unprecedented divisiveness … I get that “life is difficult” is first Noble Truth, but this all may be beyond what Buddha was thinking. 

Thousands of people have nodded yes when I’ve commented that we’ve all heard “laughter is the best medicine,” and I even wrote an article addressing scientific evidence for laughter’s health benefits (although making the case that we’ve known it is good for us for millennia). It is a perfect example of how knowing something is good for us is insufficient to act on that regularly. We can all use a good laugh, and it might keep us from going crazy. 

For sure, we can all do well to take any appropriate actions to enhance the situations we face locally to globally. Yet, we probably aren’t going to do much today to abate the disturbing situations we see in a scan of the morning’s headlines. In the meantime, let’s seek to be amused and use a good chuckle to relieve some stress and enhance our mood. One guffaw might be sufficient release of your personal pressure valve to keep you from snapping. 

Another of my favourite topics is perspective, and it’s time to take a giant step back, to Zoom-out (which may also mean stepping away from your screen for a moment). We are so distracted and so adversarial that we have lost ourselves and our way. I never thought I would be borrowing the wisdom of Jimmy Buffet (who also gets credit for the title; a line from “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes”), but maybe we do need to take “off for a weekend … to try and recall the whole year” (or two). Perhaps the change in attitude we can use is to see the absurdity, take ourselves more lightly, and laugh. 

No doubt these are challenging times. A good giggle can be the difference between staying centred or going over the edge. If you can use a good laugh, join us for the free monthly drop-in laughter club session on Zoom, Wednesday, March 2 @ Noon PST (1pm Mountain, 2pm Central, 3pm Eastern).  

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