When we talk about using humor to help more effectively manage chronic health conditions like diabetes, people often protest that they’re just not funny people. Luckily, it’s more important to be able to SEE funny than it is to actually BE funny.
Recognizing humorous moments throughout the day gives us a chance to enjoy them —and all the positive physical and mental health benefits humor offers. If you want to use humor to more effectively manage your diabetes, you can start by searching for humor in your environment.
We live in a funny world. We’re surrounded by humor, both naturally occurring and man-made. Children are experts at finding humor. They love to laugh, and will eagerly seek out experiences that they find funny. The problem is that we get older, our lives become so very, very busy that we don’t even have the time to stop and appreciate the funny moments. We’re so busy, in fact, that we don’t even realize we haven’t been laughing. It’s essential to re-develop our childhood ways and actively search out humor.
Starting the Search For Humor
It’s at this point that 99 out of a hundred people reading this will say, “I’d love to add more humor to my routine. But there’s just no time.” Fear not! Here’s an exercise that you can use to easily incorporate the search for humor (with its potential for side-splitting results!) into your daily routine. We all have to go to work in the morning, and that means we all have some kind of commute. Now commuting is not always the most fun thing you can be doing, (Says the girl from Southern California!) but with this exercise you may start looking at your time behind the wheel differently.
Use your daily commute as a time when you can search for humor. Ways to do this include: taking note of funny billboards, signs, and roadside advertising. Morning drive time radio can feature some really funny folks. Turn up the radio and laugh out loud. People watch. Drivers will do the most amazing things, and you never know what you’re going to see. Just this morning, I went by a tractor trailer that had a giant toy Winnie the Pooh bear riding shotgun! (We’re not saying it was the bear in the picture, but they could be twins, if you know what I’m saying!) That’s just not something you see everyday — and it’s something you’re not going to see at all if you’re not looking.
Realize that this takes time. Some mornings, you might not see anything funny at all. Other mornings, you’ll find yourself laughing more than you’d ever imagined possible. Life is like that.
Some people like to keep track of these moments in a humor journal. Other folks just smile and enjoy the moment of morning levity. One way to increase the power of humor in your life is to develop the habit of sharing funny sights, stories, and experiences with others. When you tell someone a funny story, they get to laugh, and you enjoy the humorous moments again as well. And who knows? Maybe someone else saw that giant Pooh Bear too! Sharing funny stories is how bonds and relationships are built, and people with diabetes thrive when they have a strong network of positive relationships. Give it a try! Your commute will never bet the same, I guarantee it!