I have often had this practice of laughing on the way to work. It works best in the car because if someone sees me they’ll just think I’m listening to something funny on the radio. I did it while I was walking to work too. In this case, it helps to have headphones on, right? ☺
Some days it was “Fake it till you make it”. There were mornings when I was so tired I barely felt like I was going to make it to work, let alone find anything to “laugh” about.
But you know, laughter is a muscle; the more you exercise it, the easier it works.
Fake it till you make it
I love faking it. See, just saying that made me grin just now because of the way it sounds!
On the difficult days I would start out with the most fake laugh ever. Maybe because it was all I could manage, maybe because I wasn’t in the mood, maybe I just didn’t care that day.
“Ha Ha. Ho Ho. Hee Hee.”
There I did it. At least that’s over. This is stupid.
Actually what I would think is “How ridiculous that sounds!” and I would smile. And then, I would do it again. Then, I would find myself laughing for real.
Some days were so hard I couldn’t do it
Nope. Actually, on the worst days of my life I made sure to do more than once. I remember one of those days, I laughed, then I cried, then I laughed again. What would my day have been like otherwise? That sentence would read “I cried.” Period.
There’s nothing wrong with crying; it’s a wonderful activity. Every emotion we feel is worth feeling and helps to make us healthy people. Sometimes those emotions need to be expressed totally and completely and perfectly, and crying is a great way to do that.
And then I laughed. And I found reasons to smile. And I found good in the difficult time I was having. And it was easier to accept the support of others around me, and easier to be supporting to them as well.
The Real Speedbump
The thing that stops me most often is just not doing it. Wait, was that self-referencing? Is that a logical fallacy? I don’t know, I didn’t really pay attention in that class, which fine because the logic doesn’t matter as long it’s true.
Two things seem to be the big hang-ups; I’ll do it later and thinking it’s a chore.
I’ll do it later most often comes up because I’m afraid I’ll look crazy. Or, at least that’s my excuse. I so often have done crazy-seeming things that I’m pretty sure that isn’t really a barrier for me. So that means it’s an excuse.
If it makes me feel silly, I can wear headphones as mentioned early. I can pretend to be listening to something funny. It really doesn’t matter, what matters is starting off my day with the energy of laughing.
One key though, it to make sure I realize it’s not a chore. It’s not something on my daily check-list. “I’ve got my keys, my phone, my wallet, my tooth and I’ve laughed. OK, I’m ready to go to work.”
It’s best for me to realize that I am doing it because it’s fun. It’s just frosting that it has some benefit as well, because the best reason to laugh is because it’s fun.
And It Does Have Benefits
You know what becomes addictive? Having a crappy day. It’s true. It’s great for conversation.
“Hey hey, how’re you doing?”
“Ugh. I missed the stupid bus, so I was on the second train that’s really crowded and had to stand the whole way and what do I see when I come up the escalator? Rain. All I need now is an earthquake and my day is complete”
Woo-Hoo! What great conversation material misery gives us! Even better, the other person can feed the same stuff right back to you and you can COMMISERATE! We seem to have forgotten that word’s meaning. We take it to mean “to sympathize”.
Bullshit. Yay, I said a naughty word!
What it means to commiserate is to share in misery. One person says how miserable they are and then the other person expounds upon their own misery and often they even get to have a misery pissing contest!
See? Being miserable is great fun!
Say this out loud slowly and it becomes really obvious, CO-Misery.
Being miserable is a muscle too, and it seems to be much easier to exercise than laughing.
However, laughing makes it easier to avoid the misery trap.
Imagine talking to this guy;
“I’ve had the most ridiculous morning; missed busses, crowded trains, got soaked in the rain… *laugh* What can you do but laugh, right?”
Who would you rather talk to? Who would you rather be?
Honestly, everything is easier on the days that I laugh. It’s a good habit, and I want to be the Lou Feriggno of laughing.