The Importance of Keeping a Sense of Humor
When You Have Chronic Illness
guest post by Crys Baysa of Pleasant Living Through Chronic Illness
Keeping A Sense of Humor (And What It Really Is About)
You know that scenario where you’re walking along and you run into something? And then you’re so mad, because you know that you’d have better coordination if you weren’t chronically ill?
It’s hard to keep a sense of humor when life throws so much at you. I know it’s something I’ve struggled with. It’s something everyone struggles with. But when life gets tough, through in a sense of humor!
What Kind of Humor Do You have?
The way I look at it, there are several different kinds of humor. Awkward humor, sarcastic humor, dry humor, and pun humor are some of those.
We all have ways that we express humor. It’s a unique special gift that helps define our individuality. Some people have a natural talent of keeping humor when times are difficult. For the rest of us, we must learn to laugh in difficult times.
One of the best ways to do this is to read humor in the genre of illness. I have gotten some great ideas from things others have put together. Sharing is wonderful. Whenever you see one of these, make sure to share it so that others can participate in the fun!
For example, I really the infographics that Miss Diagnoses put together in her blog post. She put the infographics together as a SlideShare on Facebook. That was fun to post to others so that they could have some humor as well.
Keeping a sense of humor when facing difficult times is essential. Something as simple as having a pun ready when you run into an object or stumble can bring a smile to your face and make the moment lighter.
Why Do Things Have to Be Difficult?
Maybe difficulties are one of the reasons we go through such intense invisible illnesses. If we can learn to have joy, no matter the circumstances, then we will be able to make it through anything. And we can do that while chronically ill through humor!
It is a natural way to relieve ourselves. It is a way to bond with others, even.
One of the things I like to do is remember the situations in life that were funny to me. They make funny stories. They can even be personal. But it’s a great way to get yourself laughing again when you go through a lot. I like to think of these things occasionally. Another is to read writing that will uplift you.
And the thing is, if we can keep a sense of humor in difficult times, we will be there to lift others up when things are difficult for everyone.
It’s also a coping mechanism.
Is Humor Everything?
If you had a pie, and you divided it in two, you would find that humor is only one half of a large pie. The ability to smile with true intent is the other half.
So, What Should We Really Be Asking?
We want joy! We want to be in a state of joy, no matter what we’re going through! And while it’s true that humor, laughing, smiling, and other things are little techniques to try to achieve this, there’s so much more to joy than that.
What kind of things do you like to do (that don’t burn you out)? Remember to pace yourself with it. You don’t want to overdo it. Whether they are hobbies, or learning, or something else, don’t let your illness hold you back! While it’s true that we may not be able to do everything that we want to do, that doesn’t mean we can’t do something.
Call up a friend! Write a poem! Draw! Do whatever gives you joy.
And when you are done with it, be thankful. That’s another essence to joy. Gratitude helps us see another perspective.
But It’s Not Limited to Ourselves
Don’t stop there! Let’s have joy in other people. Has someone you know had a recent success in something? Is there a birth, or a marriage? Rejoice with them!
One of my little pride and joys is my niece. While it’s true I’m not well, I’m not going to let it stop me from having fun with her. She’s coming to visit with her parents, and I’m not going to pass up this opportunity. We’ll play peekaboo and whatever other kinds of games she wants to play.
Go and do something similar. Don’t pass up those opportunities! And let those you love know that you love them. Cherish those bonds.
Our Circle of Influence is Bigger than We Realize
We can touch so many people. While it’s true we may not be able to do the big things, like pay $100,000 towards charity, or do heavy labor to help someone move, often the little things make the biggest difference. Do you see someone sitting alone at your college or your church? Go sit by them! Get to know them!
Some of the biggest joys come after taking ourselves out of our comfort zones. Getting to know people who are lonely or struggling can not only make them happy, but you as well.
Everyone needs to feel welcomed. And you never know, you may have laughter and humorous times with them in the future!
Joy Is Not Just Progressing Ourselves, But Seeing Others Progress
One of the joys we get by helping others, that others would overlook, is seeing how they grow. We also see growth with those we know, it’s true, but I find it especially joyful to watch the progress of those that no one wants to sit by.
When we help others or interact with them, for some reason there is a change in them. We can see them perk up every time they see us. We can see them grow in knowledge and in wisdom. It’s amazing how making someone feel welcome can change their lives!
But there’s also a joy in feeling that you made someone feel worthwhile. There’s a joy in helping others get to know others, in being the one to introduce them to others.
So, while we all have our limitations in certain areas, perhaps we’re not limited at all. Perhaps we’re making changes that will echo across not only that person’s life, but generations to come, and through the people they will influence in the future. And isn’t it joyful to think of the possibilities?
We Are Not Small
So, we’re influencing generations through small actions; doesn’t that make us big? Sure, it’s not the $100,000, or the physical labor to move someone, but it’s fascinating to think that maybe there’s no such thing as small help. Maybe the labor or the effort may seem minimal, but it’s huge change.
Perhaps we should start thinking that though the effort is minimal, though it may be one laugh, one person to cheer up, but we are important people making an important difference. And so, the concluding evidence is that all things, no matter how small, are important.
Humor is Part of Joy, But Joy Is Ultimate
Whether it’s one laugh, or your rolling on the floor laughing, you may not be realizing it, but you’re making a difference. So, keep sharing those humorous emails! Keep learning to laugh, despite the difficulties! Keep trying to have more humor in life!
More importantly, don’t let things hold you down. Don’t ever let your illness make you feel like you can’t accomplish something, because you can.
It’s okay to be sad occasionally, and it’s even okay to cry occasionally. Life is difficult, and it’s meant to be. Crying is part of cleansing ourselves emotionally. But let’s try to bring more joy into our lives!
Learn to laugh more!
- Finding Joy in Chronic Illness
- How to keep from growing bitter when you aren’t getting better
- Are you happy or just complacent?
- Distraction as Pain Reliever: 10 ways to distract yourself from pain
Hi! My name is Crys Baysa, and I’m the owner of www.pleasantlivingthroughchronicillness.com. I live currently in the midwestern states (though I may be getting ready to move soon), and I deal with several chronic illnesses.
Ultimately, I’d like to be a meteorologist, but my chronic illnesses hold me back. However, I am determined, like many others, to never give up! We can get better and live our dreams!