To me laughter rates at the same level as a hug: You need a bunch every day!
Do you agree?
In life, it’s easy to take yourself seriously: your beliefs and opinions matter, they contribute to the fabric of every day life. You have desires, want certain outcomes, know from experience that something works or not and have clear preferences based on your socialization, work and living circumstances.
You know, you get hooked into seriousness when you get triggered: when other points of view are presented that do not fit with your view of life or perhaps when you feel your contribution does not matter so much.
All of a sudden, you are there: defending, explaining, justifying and arguing.
Your eyes narrow, become more focused as if looking for the solution, the winning argument, the validation of “ Yes, I am right!” Your forehead wrinkles, your arms tighten against the side of your chest, restricting your breathing, your hand gestures underscore the rhythmic pattern of your speech.
Actually, hilarious to watch, if you think of it. That would be the perfect time to notice your seriousness and break out into laughter and release all the tension.
And how often do you do that? Or see others do it? Sometimes? Rarely? Not at all?
I have noticed that people on a spiritual or personal growth path fall under the same old spell of seriousness. It is just a shift in topic: now the focus is more on the importance or even righteousness of a spiritual path instead of how to decorate your home or what to eat.
We tend to take our point of view seriously. We tend to take all the events in our lives seriously.
So, from time to time, you have to just let go. Seriousness creates a contraction in your mind and body. That implies a lack of receptivity, creativity, curiosity and expansion.
Not so desirable as a long-term life strategy.
Here is where laughter comes in: It has this beautiful effect of blowing your mental circuits open and shifting your state of being. Laughter releases internal pressure and brings you back into a flow state, even if just for a moment.
Long enough to notice more brightness, more life force, more options, a greater perspective, a new look at a situation or the person across from us.
Sometimes, when I am driving in my car and mulling things over, I realize that the same old life situation is playing out again, that the dark (or light shadows) of my personalities are lurking, waiting sneakily to kick into their programming. Right then and there, I have a choice: drift into seriousness or burst into laughter: “Not this again” – giggle….
My preference is the latter scenario!
Life is just so much easier when I am not taking myself seriously. And that is why, in all seriousness, I recommend that you laugh every day!
The Dalai Lama does!