As I was writing this article to discover and encourage more laughter for healing, I posted a question on Facebook: When you are transforming grief, what makes you laugh?
Some of the ideas:
“Laughing at the actual thing that is breaking you in half.”
“My husband loves to tell dorky jokes and he is always laughing at the punch line before he gets to it. The childish joy on his face always makes me laugh and smile.”
“Ross’s perpetual puns and sense of humor, remembering walking down Samoset Road as a child and getting cookies from Ina Rogers and from Great Aunt Jean.”
“Tickling my 6 month old grandson and hearing him giggle.”
“Remembering a song my mom sang to wake me up. I didn’t like it then, but it makes me smile now. “It’s time to get up, it’s time to get up, it’s time to get up in the morning! do do dododo do do dododo do do dododo dododo-do!”
Looking at the list reminded me of how easy it is to find something that can make me laugh and smile. As much as I can look back at the loss and the sadness, I can also find a memory that connects me to joy.
Here are 5 more ideas:
1. A funny picture or image
a. When I was in second grade, I took a tissue box to school for my desk. There was a picture of a man blowing his nose. For some reason, I thought it was hysterical. I even got in trouble one day for laughing at the man. It reminds me to laugh at the little things.
b. Cartoons in the newspaper, magazines and on the internet.
c. Photography that has captured funny images
2. Singing songs and listening to music
a. As children, we have songs that made us laugh or smile. Find some songs that fill your heart with joy.
b. Jump up and down, twirl around, feel the freedom in your body
3. Make yourself laugh
a. Laughter Yoga Clubs were started by Indian physician, Dr. Madan Kataria in 1995. Now there are laughter clubs all over the world. There are exercises to help you find laughter. It is healthy for your soul and your body.
b. Exercise: make the noise, “Ha Ha Ha” from your belly. Keep making the noise until the sound brings on spontaneous laughter.
4. Follow a funny person on Facebook or Twitter.
a. The laughter is fresh every day.
b. Google “funny people on twitter” Get an account just to follow the laughter. An example: @conanobrien (Conan O’Brien, the comedian) started an account with one tweet a day. Simple and funny!
5. Spend time with a child/Become like a child
a. Look at the world with fresh eyes
b. Tickle and giggle
c. Play a game
d. Kick a ball/Throw a Frisbee
e. Feel the joy
Grieving is a natural part of our day-to-day lives. We lose loved ones. We have disappointments. We get discouraged. When my son and then my husband died, I made the decision to live life for all three of us. That includes finding the joy in life through laughter.
This article helps to create an environment for laughter. This can help you process and heal grief in the moment. There are no magic pills for grief. We heal one moment at a time, one day at a time for the rest of our lives.
Be gentle with yourself. Remember to laugh.
Author: Andrea Hylen is a Grief Transformation Guide, Minister of Spiritual Peacemaking, a facilitator for people in the ministry program, an Inspiration Coach, and co-author of “Conscious Choices: An Evolutionary Woman’s Guide to Life”. Her next book, “Open to Inspiration: The summer a woman discovered herself with a teenage daughter and the Jonas Brothers on a 10,000 mile road trip” will be published in 2011. Her greatest desire is to inspire peopl
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