Humor and Inspiration Enhance
When you're faced with a lot of pain, suffering and challenges on a daily basis it can be easy to lose your sense of humor and hard to find inspiration. This is understandable, however, finding a way to keep them present in your life is not only a powerful coping method, but essential food for the body, mind and spirit. In the midst of our most difficult times a little laugher can literally be a life saver.
Some of the most valuable ways in which humor helps us cope is that it improves the mood, decreases feelings of powerlessness, makes life lighter and more manageable and helps us see things in a new light. This stimulates feelings of hope and thus we feel more capable of handling the problems in our life.
Everyday problems and hassles are kept in perspective as it helps us view situations with more objectivity and insight. Problems that seemed insurmountable suddenly become more manageable. We are reminded not to take ourselves or life so seriously. When shared with others, laughter bonds us closer together.
It replaces emotional distress, because its impossible to be angry, depressed or anxious in the process of laughter and improves your overall quality of life. Humor and inspiration temporarily draws our attention away from our pain and suffering and gives us a much needed break. Although it may be brief, it momentarily brings joy into our life.
Not only is it good for our mental health, but humor also boosts our immune system, reduces stress and provides pain relief. Laughter decreases our stress hormones, increases antibodies that fight infection and releases endorphins, which are the bodies natural painkillers. What's even more amazing is that researchers at the University of California actually reported that just looking forward to or anticipating a good laugh or happy, funny event will also release the endorphins and lower the stress hormones.
Additionally it is believed that laughter actually lowers blood pressure, is good for the heart, improves brain functioning, induces relaxation, instills an overall good sense of well being and stimulates the will to live.
Ways to Cultivate More Humor and Inspiration in Your Life
Keep a good sense of humor. Laugh at yourself. If you laugh at yourself, you'll never run out of things to laugh about.
If possible try to find some humor in your illness or the impact it has on your life by finding the ironic or ridiculous aspects of its existence in your life.
Read humorous material like jokes or watch a comedy on TV on a regular basis.
Watch movies that make you laugh out loud as often as possible.
Keep humorous material in sight on a daily basis, such as a comic under a magnet on the refrigerator or a poster on the wall. I have a little plastic ball that is a smiley face in plain view that I look at every day. Just looking at it makes me smile and feel happier inside. How can you not smile when you look at a smiley face?
Read cartoons, funny magazines or books.
If you have a computer, sign up to receive a joke a day in your email. There are many different choices out there. The Internet has an endless source of humor and inspiration to take advantage of. Just do a Google search and you're all set.
Seek out people who have a good sense of humor and make you laugh.
Avoid or minimize time with people who bring you down.
Listen to comedy on CDs.
When something frustrating or annoying happens, try to turn it around.
In addition to humor, its equally important to keep inspired as this too will enhance your mood and counteract the negatives in your life. Keep inspirational material around you at all times to energize and uplift you like calendars or a book of quotes. Read books with inspirational stories, messages or information. Calendars are an especially good source of inspiration, because we tend to look at them every day, so thus we will be sure to get a daily dose without any extra effort. We can find calendars with a variety of inspiring nature scenes as well as inspirational quotes or humorous anecdotes to keep handy.
I have a whole page of inspirational quotes here on this site you can take a look at if you like. Collecting them is one of my favorite means of inspiration. You can find lots of books in the bookstore with a wide selection of quotes and here again the Internet can provide you with a never ending supply.
Nature is another great source of inspiration. If it's possible I think we should all live in area where we are surrounded by the beauty of nature. Get out and spend time with nature as often as possible and set up your home so that you have views of nature available to you at all times. Put your desk or favorite chair beside a window where you can see the clouds, birds, trees, sunsets etc.. If that's not possible for you then cover your walls or table tops with exquisite photography. Go out on a day trip and take some photos yourself and put them in a frame. Take a visit to the bookstore and browse the nature and landscape section or bring a couple home with you to put on the coffee table or desk.
If you use a computer, you can find a beautiful inspiring photo on the Internet and set it as your screen saver or desktop image. I really enjoy doing this and I change the photo every couple months so I can have some variety. I live in the desert due to my health conditions, but I'm a native of Ohio, so I really miss the colors from back East. I always find photos of things I don't have access to anymore like colorful flowers, blue herons, fall foliage, sparkling lakes or snow capped trees etc. Once again, the Internet abounds in spectacular photography web sites to relish in.
Humor and inspiration will improve the quality of our life, however its important to keep in mind that you don't make fun of yourself in a deprecating way, as this will be counterproductive. You should not make light of your situation or the struggles you endure. It's equally important to acknowledge and express your frustration or sadness about your situation. Always show yourself and others respect and maintain a sense of balance. Along that same line of thinking, humor should never be at the expense of someone else and inside jokes should be avoided as they make others feel excluded.