I always love it when readers suggest a certain topic for me to write about. It may not always have been one that was on my list or came to mind but it keeps me on my toes and I love to chew on these topics for a while to see if it resonates with me and what I can come up with. The suggested topic was humour – something very underestimated and sometimes even undervalued.
“If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide.” — Mahatma Gandhi
I love to laugh. I am one of these people that laugh a lot and most of the time probably much too loud – and I couldn’t care less.
“If I ever lose my sense of humour, please call the undertaker.” — Tanja Boness
Laughing is probably one of the best medicines there are with a huge number of health benefits, and I will get to that a little later.
What do you find funny, and what sort of humour appeals to you, what makes you laugh?
Let’s take a brief look at the different kinds of humour there are:
This involves telling jokes about things that everyone might find funny. The goal is to use humor to bring people together to find humour in everyday life. If you are fond of jokes about animals or everyday occurrences, then you are probably using affiliative humor. Affiliative Humor is a way of amusing others to facilitate relationships – it is mainly positive and inclusive
This involves put-downs or insults targeted toward individuals. This is the humor that is used by more aggressive comedians —the put-down artists. When it is intended to threaten or psychologically harm others, it is the type of humor used by bullies. While some of the audience to this type of humor will find it funny, others might laugh to cover up a feeling of discomfort. Aggressive humour is using humour to disparage others as a way of manipulating them. It’s the humor we see so often in the form of some memes. In the workplace, this is sarcastic comments, mocking people, or giving co-workers mean-spirited nicknames. Aggressive humour is always at the cost of others.
This is being able to laugh at yourself, such as making a joke when something bad has happened to you. Trying to find the humour in everyday situations, and making yourself the target of the humor in a good-natured way. It is related to healthy coping with stress.
Putting yourself down in an aggressive or “poor me” fashion is called self-defeating humor. Psychologically, this can be an unhealthy form of humour, and is sometimes used by targets of bullies to try to avoid attacks—making oneself the butt of jokes before others put you down.
This is all very scientific and not funny or humourous at all. What we actually find funny and what makes us laugh is dependent on so many things. Culture, age, political orientation, and many other factors play a huge role in what people find funny or amusing.
I cannot even tell you exactly what I find funny and what makes me laugh. It depends on my form of the day, on my mood, and last but not least on the respective situation.
I find most comedians (especially the Germans) rather yawn-inducingly boring. Often it’s wordplay, situation comedy, and sometimes even a little schadenfreude that make me laugh.
Have you ever literally laughed at NOTHING until your belly ached and tears of laughter ran down your cheeks? You felt absolutely exhausted afterward and yet wonderfully relaxed. That is the power of laughter.
“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” — Charlie Chaplin
I would like to share with you a video (only the short version) that I find absolutely hilarious. It is Hans-Rudolf Merz of the Swiss Bundesrat trying to read some absolutely ridiculous new regulations concerning a swiss meat product and desperately fighting laughter – very unsuccessfully – at the absurdity of these regulations. And even if you don’t understand a word of what he is saying, I dare you not to at least smile – real honest laughter simply is contagious.
“Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.” — Francis Bacon
Let’s have a closer look at what laughter can do for your health and well-being.
Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
Laughter burns calories. Okay, so it’s no replacement for going to the gym, but one study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn approximately 40 calories—which could be enough to lose three or four pounds over the course of a year.
Laughter lightens anger’s heavy load. Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment.
Laughter may even help you to live longer. A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.
So here is one for the road:
A brunette passes a pasture with a flock of sheep and a shepherd. She stops and looks at the sheep and lambs for a moment and asks the shepherd, “If I can tell you the exact number of sheep in the pasture, can I take one of the lambs?” The shepherd thinks about it for a moment and believes she’ll never be able to do it. So he agrees.
Without hesitation, the brunette woman says, “267”.
The shepherd is shocked because it is the exact number and has no choice but to let the woman choose one of the lambs. So she goes to the pasture, grabs one and wants to leave. The shepherd calls after her, “Good woman, if I guess your natural hair colour, can I have my dog back?
And a last one:
Two blondes leave a gynaecologist’s practice at the same time. One blonde asks the other: “Why were you there?”. The other blonde answers: “I was there for a pregnancy test.” The first blonde, her eyes wide with shock, says: “Were the questions difficult?”
🎶My Song of the Week
A happy song – Watermelon Sugar by Harry Styles…. Play it loud and move!
It’s also here on the Spotify playlist
📚My Poem of the Week
Is by Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)
Laughter sort o’ settles breakfast better than digestive pills; Found it, somehow in my travels, cure for every sort of ills; When the hired help have riled me with their slipshod, careless ways, An’ I’m bilin’ mad an’ cussin’ an’ my temper’s all ablaze, If the calf gets me to laughin’ while they’re teachin’ him to feed Pretty soon I’m feelin’ better, ’cause I’ve found the cure I need. Like to start the day with laughter; when I’ve had a peaceful night, An’ can greet the sun all smilin’, that day’s goin’ to be all right. But there’s nothing goes to suit me, when my system’s full of bile; Even horses quit their pullin’ when the driver doesn’t smile, But they’ll buckle to the traces when they hear a glad giddap, Just as though they like to labor for a cheerful kind o’ chap. Laughter keeps me strong an’ healthy. You can bet I’m all run down, Fit for doctor folks an’ nurses when I cannot shake my frown. Found in farmin’ laughter’s useful, good for sheep an’ cows an’ goats; When I’ve laughed my way through summer, reap the biggest crop of oats. Laughter’s good for any business, leastwise so it seems to me Never knew a smilin’ feller but was busy as could be. Sometimes sit an’ think about it, ponderin’ on the ways of life, Wonderin’ why mortals gladly face the toil an care an’ strife, Then I come to this conclusion—take it now for what it’s worth It’s the joy of laughter keeps us plodding on this stretch of earth. Men the fun o’ life are seeking—that’s the reason for the calf Spillin’ mash upon his keeper—men are hungry for a laugh.
My cats always make me laugh!
To begin any kind of transformation, you have to know what your story is before you can navigate to something better and write a new story, becoming the best possible version of yourself. This is what the Enneagram and I can do for you. I would be happy to take the time for a speed coaching call that you can reserve right here go to my website or simply hit reply and get in touch with me directly.
Thank you for your time and for reading this post. I would love to know what makes you laugh and what kind of humour you like.
If you enjoyed this letter, leave a ❤️ and a comment! I wish you an amazing weekend and look very much forward to hearing from you.