Building Family Strengths with Humour

I love laughing …..

I love laughing with my kids, laughing with my friends, laughing with Kevin (particularly at our new hobby of Salsa dancing lessons on a Wednesday night!!) and making people laugh…… it makes me feel good.

It lifts my spirit when the days are grey and the bills are high.

It also changes all our brain chemistry and releases endorphins that increase our sense of well-being, it improves our reasoning powers and make us less sensitive to pain.

We all make better decisions when we are relaxed and happy and laughing helps us do just that.

Families who have a sense of humour are more likely to feel good about themselves, get on more easily and are more forgiving of one another.

It also seems fairly obvious that having a sense of humour helps families cope with life’s stresses and ups and downs.

Why not turn off the News tonight and not believe the doom and gloom of the papers just for today and see what happens to you.

What if you started to just adopt an attitude of gratitude just for today and started to notice all the great things in your life and became more playful in your view of your life – like you were a 7 year old or a happy go lucky teenager in love again….. tap into that energy of being carefree and relaxed just for today.

Play in the snow like it’s the first time you’ve ever seen it ….. cultivate a sense of awe and wonder just for today and notice how different you feel. How much more relaxed and at ease within yourself.

Researchers suggest that the average person needs to laugh 15 times or more a day for a healthy lifestyle.

How many laughs have you had today?

Or more importantly are you open to laughter and fun or closed down and shut off?

If you are always a serious person, who doesn’t take time out for pleasure and always looks at things in a negative way, you are likely to have health problems in the future.

If you are a serious workaholic and don’t take time to laugh, you may find yourself less productive and effective than if you take time out for a little laughter.

So why laugh?

Humour can be defined as something that brings laughter into our lives. It can have really great positive effects for us physiologically, emotionally, psychologically, socially, intellectually and spiritually.

So if you need to be reminded here are some benefits of laughter!

• Laughter can make you feel better. It is a tool to lighten your mood and help you laugh at yourself and not take things too seriously. Good laughter can help break the ice and ease social tension which makes you feel better and confident in communicating sensitive information.

• Laughter is good for reducing stress. A survey by doctors found that laughing reduces muscle tension which helps us relax.

• Laughter can also release pent-up feelings of fear, anger and anxiety.

• Laughter is good exercise. Laughter is like “jogging on the inside.” When you laugh, your muscles are activated, oxygen floods through your blood and the cardiovascular system dilates and laughter stimulates the production of endorphins – your body’s natural pain-reducing enzymes – in the brain.

• Laughter is free. Laughter is fat-free, salt-free, non-taxable, no cost, environmentally safe, constantly renewable, and does not require batteries or special assembly!!

Laughter is medicine for the soul within families

Joking and laughing is very beneficial for strengthening families a it gives your family perspective and a sense of team spirit.

Families that learn to find humour even in some of the grim realities and emotion-packed challenges of daily life have an edge on peace and a better sense of perspective. Humour can be a very effective tool in helping families cope during good and bad times.

And here are some of the benefits of laughter and joy for your family.

• Humour makes life fun.

• Humour helps us cope with problems.

• Humour and playfulness are a safety valve for the expression of anger and other strong feelings.

• Humour offers perspective and balance.

• Humour is a means of communication and creative expression.

• Humour provides temporary relief from the world’s restrictive regulations.

• Humour is a way to express the truth even when the truth is feared.

• Humour is mentally and physically good for you.

• Humour affirms life and brings people together.

• Humour often succeeds where other methods have failed.

We tend to take ourselves too seriously. As a result, many of us have lost touch with the importance of fun at home, at work and in other aspects of their lives.

As human beings we are spontaneous and playful by nature. Yet the older we become, the less appropriate it seems for us to allow our laughter to be expressed. (Well unless you’ve done a Tony Robbins seminar!!)

In today’s fast, hectic and frenetic pace of life, I think its really important that we experience the benefits of laughter on a more regular basis.

We don’t have to be superficial, mocking, judgemental or sarcastic to enjoy the joy of laughter. There really is a difference between “laughing at” someone and “laughing with them.” But we do have to look for ways to bring humour into our lives and those around us.

Laughter has so many benefits that can strengthen and maintain healthy family relationships.

So surround yourself with humour you enjoy; begin telling a few jokes or funny stories; look for the fun in everyday situations; laugh more often and more heartily; laugh at yourself, and deliberately look for the lighter side to stressful situations.

Here’s a little quiz I found on the Internet for you !

                            What’s your humour level like today? 

Read the statements and circle the number where you feel you belong. If you circle a 7, you are saying the statement is “very characteristic of you.” If you circle a 1, the statement is “very uncharacteristic of you.” Be honest – no one is watching!

High <-> Low

1. My family would describe me as “funny.”

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

2. My family would say that humour is one of my strengths.

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

3. I avoid sarcasm or negative humour.

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

4. I can laugh at my own mistakes.

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

5. I laugh alone when I feel something is funny.

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

6. I easily laugh and enjoy laughing at funny jokes and stories.

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

7. I seek out cartoons, comedy shows, etc., that make me laugh.

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

8. I keep humorous information around to make me laugh.

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

9. My sense of humour helps me relieve stress.

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

10. I look for the funny side of life and share it with others.

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

11. I send humorous notes and cartoons to others.

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

12. My sense of humour makes it hard for people to stay mad at me.

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

13. I enjoy telling humorous stories.

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

14. I sometimes act silly at unexpected times.

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

15. I am not uncomfortable laughing out loud with others.

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

16. I use humour to help me remember important things.

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

TOTAL SCORE: __________

TO GET YOUR TOTAL SCORE, ADD THE NUMBERS CIRCLED FOR EACH ITEM.

If you score 100-112, your Humour Level is unbelievable. Keep it up!

A score between 90-99 indicates you are a “Humour Professional.”

A score of 70-90 means minor adjustments may be in order.

A score of 45-70 suggest a major adjustment is needed.

A score below 45 may require a “humour transplant.”

If you did not laugh or smile at this scoring, give yourself a zero!
Source: “Making Humor Work,” by Terry Paulson, Crisp Publications, Menlo Park, CA, 1989.

So today’s challenge is for you to look for ways to find humour at work, at home, at school on the bus and definitely on the train and to share it with your kids, the postman and the traffic warden !

Well this made me smile…. !!  Click here

February is Pass It Forward Month! So if you have found this blog helpful and thought provoking please pass it forward to your friends, colleagues, schools and nurseries……. because as they say ….“Alone we can do so little together we can do so much”