When you're in the midst of a tough time, when life just feels like too much, it's not funny. There's generally nothing funny about it; however, just as soon as you begin to see the lighter side of your situation, that's when you know you'll make it through. That's when you can start to relax.
A sense of humor is necessary to move forward and over those rough patches. It doesn't have to be a clown act or a comedy show, but just as soon as you are strong enough, look for the funny side of life. Laughter is a great coping mechanism. But you have to be open to it. You must want to see past the pain.
It's how I've gotten through most of my trials and tribulations. I've learned not to take life too seriously, because there's already too much serious going on. I've always needed to find the balance between the heavy and the humor. It helped me get through a rough childhood, teenage parenthood, a few bad marriages, widowhood, the rejection I get from editors, and so much more. It's what I learned to do as a child to protect myself, and it became a great tool to use as an adult. I don't know what I'd do without my sense of humor and ability to crack jokes at my own expense.
So look for the lighter side of life. If your significant other dumps you for another woman, let your attitude be: "She can have him."
You about to lose your house? Hey, thank goodness the AC works in your car, right?
If your life just isn't what you thought it was supposed to be, maybe you just took the wrong fork in the road. It might be a longer way to get there, but turn around and turn right this time. As long as you're not hurting anyone else, laugh at your mistakes. Find the funny in your foibles.
And if you trip while you're sipping that glass of merlot, do what I do. Don't be embarrassed. Just tell everyone: "Oops! That was the wine walking!"
If you need help in finding your sense of humor, here a few suggestions:
_Take an improv class.
_Try laughter yoga.
_Join a Laughter Club.
_Go see a comedy show.
_Read the funnies in the Sunday newspaper.
_Sign up for a joke-writing class.
_Buy a few gag gifts at the novelty store.
If you have any other ideas, post a comment here.