Last weekend I hit a hump, and it’s likely something you can relate to. I was tired of hanging around the house, doing chores, cooking meals, walking the same route with the dog, seeing the same faces… tired of the news and the fear around COVID-19. There are still big challenges to overcome. But there is also the sense of ‘same old, same old,’ working from home, days blending into nights, blending into weeks, blending into months.
And then… something made me laugh! Just a meme on Facebook that my son shared with me and I remembered something that has been true for me in times light and dark: Laughter is the Best Medicine.
It might be a well-worn phrase, but there is some truth to these wonderful words.
Laughter can change everything in a moment. A stressful situation, boredom, frustration, loneliness. But why does it feel so good to laugh? It’s a pretty weird physical response to absurdity, surprise or elation.
Babies begin to laugh very early in their development. They pay attention to their parents’ laughter and notice their facial expressions and uplifted mood. Parents often create ways or do things to make babies laugh to connect. The effect is to bond the baby to the source of laughter.
This connection shows that laughter is one of the earliest forms of communication, interaction and relationship building, used before we are able to speak.
Laughter brings people together. It’s an element of sharing and agreement. Many of us are returning to the office and are having to reintegrate with people we haven’t seen for more than three months. Some of our social niceties have not been as important while we’ve worked in isolation. We might be nervous and a bit hesitant about reconnecting. Perhaps it’s time to use and share humour to break the ice, to reconnect, to simply feel at home.
The things we find funny may differ, but laughter can re-energise, refocus and simply nurture oneself as we get back to business.