The lesson of humor means learning to invite levity and amusement into situations that might otherwise be disastrous. If you are going to view the hardships that happen to you or the slip-ups you make as lessons rather than mistakes, a sense of humor will prove helpful. When you learn to laugh at your mishaps you are able to instantaneously transform perceived bad situations into opportunities to learn something about the absurdity of human behavior, most especially your own!
Humor and laughter are also tremendously important in relationships. Sharing a good laugh with someone does wonders. A friend of mine told me that once when she and her husband were having a disagreement he made a face that struck her as so comical, she burst out laughing. They both realized how silly they were being and they were able to share a laugh and resolve their conflict with a new perspective. As Victor Borge said, “Laughter is the closest distance between two people.”
The health benefits, both mental and physical, of humor are well documented. A good laugh can diffuse tension, relieve stress, and release endorphins into your system, which act as a natural mood elevator. In Norman Cousin’s book, Anatomy of an Illness, Cousins describes the regimen he followed to overcome a serious, debilitating disease he was suffering from. It included large doses of laughter and humor. Published in 1976, his book has been widely read and accepted by the medical community.
Laughter causes misery to vanish. It teaches you to lighten up and take yourself less seriously, even in the most serious of situations. It can also help you gain some much needed perspective.