Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wellness Activity: Laughter

For the last few days, I've been extraordinarily tired at night, and I'm finding it difficult to write. So, today I decided to re-post something I'd written in March, 2007. Hope you enjoy it!

I've always known about the importance of laughter in healing. But Ronald Jenkins has some nice explanations and quotes in his book, Subversive Laughter, The Liberating Power of Comedy. Perhaps he explains his theory best in the introduction where he writes:

"Laughter is a biological imperative, a complex cognitive and physiological response to the human condition that is as necessary for survival as water, air, and freedom. While I have no evidence that comedy is encoded in our chromosomes, it is plausible that a genetic impulse for adaptation and survival might explain the persistence of laughter in life’s most urgent moments."

I also enjoyed the following quotes:

"In a world fraught with danger and despair, comedy is a survival tactic, and laughter is an act of faith."

"Our sense of humor is a mirror of our aspirations, reflecting our desires to escape the limitations that circumscribe our lives."

"The global persistence of laughter as an adaptive response to human hardship makes one suspect that at its most visceral level, comedy is linked to our species’ instinct to survive."


Mariposa said...

Love the quotes! So very true...and you just gave me an idea...when I have nothing to write I might repost old post, after all I did not have any readers when I started as it was just like an online journal.

Happy Thursday!

Florida Sue said...

I so agree Susan. The ability to poke fun at myself takes the sting out of feeling like I need to accomplish everything all of the time. I take comfort that even in my darkest times, I have always retained the ability to crack a self deprecating joke. Is there humor in mental illness? Probably not during the deepest of despair while acutely ill, but when mood brightens just a little, it is a sure sign of better days ahead.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Mariposa,
I just thought of it myself. And, like you, when I started my blog, all five of the people who read it--undoubtedly are long gone.


Wellness Writer said...

Dear Florida Sue,
There have only been a few times when I've lost my sense of humor during my sickest periods.

Actually, for a long time, I wondered whether other BIPS shared my quirky sense of humor regarding this so-called mental illness.

And I once wrote that I felt cancer survivors were far more entertaining than BIPS.

But...I've now come to realize that people either have a sense of humor or they don't independent of what ails them.

Personally, I agree with you. If you can laugh at yourself, you've got a far better chance to survive...anything.