Each time I get introduced to a group I will be presenting to; I find myself cringing. I hear things about me I wonder if they are actually true. And each time I swear I need to get my website changed. When my son “built” my webpage he felt it should be positive, build me up, make me look good. To suggest I am a motivational speaker seems a touch hypocritical because I can’t get myself motivated so how could I possibly motivate others. To suggest I am a humorist sounds good but what is that? It also states that I allegedly have had a hole in one. That part is true. In fact, got my second one earlier this year. So does that make me an expert, does that enhance my chances of having people reach out to retain my services? Perhaps its my Imposter Syndrome kicking in. Then again, that is nothing new.
Recently I was involved in an interview where I was asked what my lived experiences taught me about the power of humour when it comes to talking about mental wellness. After all, the interviewer said, your website describes you as a humorist. There you go. The good news was it was not a live interview, so I had some time to reflect on that.
Per the definition, a humorist is a writer or speaker who tells stories about funny situations or experiences. Okay, that makes sense. Furthermore, a serious speaker, or writer, will use humour to relieve tension. And we all know discussion around mental health can create tension as people try to understand where they fit.
There are times when humour is not healthy. I am reminded, on occasion, that my attempts at humour are not appropriate in certain circumstances. I have been guilty of using humour as a cover for avoiding painful emotions. For me, laughter has been a disguise for feelings of hurt, fear, anger or disappointment. I have used humour to put myself down which comes across as a defense mechanism for low self-esteem. I certainly have been guilty of using humour to fool people. Hey, laugh at this because that way you won’t notice what really is going on with me.
However, laughter can be a powerful antidote for stress, pain and conflict. Based on research nothing works faster to bring your emotions back into balance than a good laugh. It lightens our burdens, it inspires us and builds connections with others.
As I have alluded to before, my mornings can be particularly difficult. It’s the time of day when I normally question my existence, feel my mood being subdued and wonder about my purpose in life. Over the course of this last summer, I have been blessed with friends that share my passion of golf. And for the majority of the mornings over the last six months we have spent time together, thinking we are better golfers than we really are, but also sharing many a belly laugh.
And I am thankful for that. It has helped me in finding better balance in my life. It has helped me in enjoying life just a little bit more. Those laughs literally and figuratively have made my day. And for that I am grateful.
So we need to find more opportunities to laugh. And if they are not there, create them. As the proverb says, if you are too busy to laugh, you are to busy. Young kids will laugh up to 400 times a day. As adults that can drop to as low as 12. We need to work together on increasing that. Not as a defense mechanism or a cover up, but rather as a life enhancer. Trust me, it works. Make it a good one.
“Some of you are unaware of just how amazing you really are. The way you make people laugh, lift others up, or spread some extra love. You do this even though you are struggling too, and I think it makes you such a beautiful human being.” Unknown