Combating Sadness with Humor
by Jennifer Jane
I feel a lot of the time we conform to the emotional state that we perceive we should be in, for example, when at a party we act happy, when in a hospital we act sad. The truth is that sometimes when at a party, despite the fact that we are surrounded by friends, good food and dancing, we are sad, we just are, but our outward behavior is that we are happy! Similarly, if we are in a hospital we behave sullen, even if we are not… I think the key to combatting sadness is that if we feel happiness we should simply embrace it, regardless of our surroundings.
I am often told that I laugh a lot, initially I thought to laugh in a hospital was unacceptable and could be insulting. Everyone is struggling so much, should I hold back the laughter? I now know that it is, indeed, ok to laugh - laughing makes you feel better and if you are incredibly sad hearing someone else laugh is the most wonderful sound, as it makes you remember that there are good things around you.
When we were living in the hospital I actively sought out humor because I felt that even if you are dealing with hell your favorite joke is still funny and embracing that feeling momentarily relieves your stress and I think that goes a long way.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying to gloss over hard times with humor, I am saying embrace the truly hard times, feel them and process. But, when there are happy times, embrace them and enjoy them - don't let the tough times affect every element of your life.
If you notice something funny don’t be afraid to laugh, dance or smile… it brings you happiness and I bet that if anyone is watching you, seeing your happiness will help them too, as it will be a nice reminder that there are still good things in the world.
Laughter is positively contagious, and as they say, 'laughter is the best medicine', I wholeheartedly agree with this!