Do you know how many times we laughed when we were ten years old? 250 times a day! When we were kids, we laughed all the time and we said the cutest things. In Readers Digest, Kathy Stitt tells us she was playing tooth fairy when her daughter, Shelbey, suddenly woke up. Shelbey saw the money in her mother’s hand and shouted, “I caught you!” Kathy froze and tried to think of an explanation for why she, rather than the tooth fairy, was putting the money under her daughter’s pillow. Shelbey’s next words let her mother off the hook. “You put that money back!” she said indignantly. “The tooth fairy left that for me!”
Do you know how many times we laugh as adults. 15 times a day. And that’s on a good day, isn’t it? How did we go from 250 times a day to 15 times a day. What happened to us? As adults, we become more serious, don’t we? But life is too important to take yourself so seriously. It takes 26 muscles to smile and 62 muscles to frown. Why not make it easy on yourself?
Learn to laugh at yourself. Laughing at yourself in a healthy way is a sign of strength. It use to bother me when I started getting bald spots until I learned to use humor to deal with it. I don’t look at it as baldness anymore. I now look at it as more face. You know, you don’t really lose your hair. It just starts growing out your ears instead. When you’re able to laugh at yourself, your flaws start to disappear. And you feel better about yourself.
There are 4 stages in life:
- Stage 1: You believe in Santa Claus
- Stage 2: You don’t believe in Santa Claus
- Stage 3: You dress up like Santa Claus
- Stage 4: You look like Santa Claus
As adults, we keep getting older. Why didn’t anyone warn us about this when we were kids? You know you’re getting older when people call you at 9pm and ask, “Did I wake you up?” Remember as a kid how you hated to take a nap and now as an adult, you can’t wait to take a nap. You know you’re getting older when you stoop to tie your shoes and you wonder what else you can do while you’re down there. You know you’re getting older when:
- You keep more food than beer in the fridge
- Dinner and a movie is the whole date, not just the beginning
- You start watching the weather channel
When we laugh at our imperfections, they become trite. They don’t seem significant anymore. Most importantly, we stop taking ourselves so seriously.
Laughter makes you feel so good, don’t wait for something funny to happen. Create your own humor. Turn life into laughter. At first, this may seem awkward, but with practice, you will get better at it. How do you turn life into laughter? I’m glad you asked. One technique is to interpret things in more than one way. Look for the humorous side of what you see and hear. A dry cleaners had this sign in front of their building, “38 years on the same spot.” This sign has both a serious interpretation and a funny interpretation. Now, you try it. Newspaper headlines, “Toilet seats stolen from police department. Police having nothing to go on.” See, you’re starting to get the hang of it. The more you practice, the more natural it will feel. And the best part is you will be laughing more often each day.
Life is too important to take yourself so seriously!