We’ve all been told that laughter is the best medicine but when you are in the thrawls of your big black dog it’s hard to find humour in anything. But what power does laughter really have? Well, that depends.
It is true that laughter releases endorphins and makes us feel good but humour is more primal an instinct I think.
Firstly, it is a shared experience. The art of conveying and understanding the emotion of another with an almost instinctual exclamation of delight at the whimsical and amusing. It is a fascinating thing that the laughter of others is infectious, like a social necessity. It is also true to say that one laughs more heartily when in the company of others.
It is also a desire to connect with others, being capable of expressing who you are at your core with one simple joke, be it about what precisely did the vicar say to the nun or whom the persistent git is who feels the need to incessantly knock on our door. It doesn’t really matter which joke. What matters expressing ourselves in a sincere and altruistic way. Perhaps that is why many comedians suffer with poor mental health and usage the need to tell jokes as a therapy?
Most importantly though, laughter is about liberation. When you can laugh at life’s overwhelming abundance of lemons and even at yourself, you experience freedom. Freedom from the woes of life. You develop daring and the ability to take that leap of faith. You gain an insatiable appetite for life and it’s many colours. You travel through with your trusty joke book looking for the last laugh, even if it is on you.
Like Monty Python once said always look on the bright side of life.