It's Wellness Wednesday time again! This is one of my favorite components of wellness, and one of the most fun to actually implement in life! If you've missed the other posts in this series, click for the entire list, along with some basic information on wellness.
Today I am continuing around the wheel in Life Task 2 to Sense of Humor!
Myers & Sweeney define this component of wellness the following way:
Ability to laugh appropriately at oneself, ability to laugh appropriately at others, having the capacity to see contradictions and predicaments of life in an objective manner such that one can gain new perspectives, ability to use humor to cope with one’s own difficulties, enjoying inconsistencies and idiosyncrasies of life.
Myers & Sweeney (2005) also state the following: "especially when accompanied by laughter, humor causes the skeletal muscles to relax, boosts the immune system, increases heart rate, stimulates circulation, oxygenates the blood, massages the vital organs, aids digestion, and releases chemicals (endorphins) into the brain that enhance a sense of well-being" (p. 24). That alone sounds incredible healthy, doesn't it? Laughter is free, easy to do, and lifts the spirit incredibly quickly. Overall, we feel better about ourselves and our relationships when we engage in regular laughter.
The important word in the definition above is APPROPRIATE. Humor that is meant to tear down or be hurtful to others is not healthy, as it brings out a nasty side not only of yourself, but hurts the other person. This humor, while funny, is best avoided. I also think it's interesting that appropriate laughter at oneself is indicative of health. I think about the times that I have tripped and looked foolish. I can either continue to harass myself and beat myself up about it, or I can choose to laugh about it, make a joke, and move forward in my life. Which do you think is the better option?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself?
- How do you benefit the most from laughter in your life?
- How can you increase a sense of humor in your life?
- Do you have the ability to laugh appropriately at yourself?
- Do you resort to humor to put others around you down or hurt them?
- What do you do to add humor to your life currently?
While going through grad school (and throughout my years counseling), I've come to realize how important humor is to refilling myself at the end of the day. This has been a crucial component to my self care, and it's something I can do with even a short 5 minutes of time.
Here are a few things that will either bring a smile to my face or laughter to my life: