Humour is serious business. No pun intended but I am sincere when I say this. As I transition writing styles from serious to humorous, I am making a correlation between my writing and life. Switching abruptly to comedic stories brings up one question for me: At what point does humour enter a serious situation in life? The answer came to me quickly as I recalled an article I came across while researching an essay for college a few years ago. It was a story about nurses who worked in an operating room and assisted doctors with life-saving procedures. The article revealed that the nurses had posted a sign outside their operating room door for anxiously awaiting family members. It stated that if laughter was heard from behind the doors, it was not their loved one that they were laughing about but rather it was just their way of coping with their work-related stress. I love the story as it clearly illustrates how humour has an important role in life and that it can be a very powerful coping tool.
Life is filled with challenges. My 9o year old friend, who is as sharp as a tack, summed it all up perfectly for me one day. She said, “you need to be insane to stay sane.” This is so very true at times. When the pressure is on, sometimes all we can do is laugh to maintain our sanity. A little bit of humour goes a long way in helping to keep the stress under control, not unlike the regulator of a pressure cooker. Humour is a form of emotional release that helps to maintain the pressure within at manageable levels. Without this, we might explode or implode, depending on our habits and style of coping. Exploding is downright messy and imploding is no better. If we do the latter, we might very well end up on the operating room table with nurses laughing over top of us, so we might as well laugh while we can!
Healthy humour is inviting and never hurtful. Numerous studies reveal the physical benefits of hearty laughter which include reduced stress, lower blood pressure, and a stronger immune system. We all know that hearty laughter exercises the abdominal muscles and relaxes the body. That means that a hearty bout of laughter is just about as good as going to the gym for a workout! When was the last time you had a really good belly laugh?
“Humour is reason gone mad” – Groucho Marx