It’s surprising how many clients have expressed guilt for coming to therapy because they shouldn’t…
95% of the time I spend using Highlighters in this office is NOT to underline important information. No no, but rather to produce that soul satisfying “pop” sound they make when you handle them properly. And all just for the purpose of putting a smile on my face.
I can feel you looking at me funny through the screen so let me explain.
You know that part at the back end of the Highlighter with the cavity used to put the lid when in use? Plug it with your finger! If you’ve got plump fingers like me, it’ll be a nice snug fit. Now, sorta lever your finger so that your nail is pressed tight against the inside of the cavity and basically “flick” your finger up and out of the Highlighter..
Hear that? That’s the sound that puts a smile on my face. It’s my go-to silly “thing” when I’m at work.
So maybe your “thing” is different from my “thing”, but I’m positively sure we all have some “thing”. A thing that you do to hit the reset button when you’ve hit a wall at work. A thing designed or discovered that makes you smile or as Marie Kondo would say, a thing that sparks joy. Maybe yours is spinning in your chair a few times, or maybe it’s a don’t blink challenge with a co-worker, whatever your “thing” is, I’ve found that a lot of the time, the thing is often something silly. A laugh, a gag, little moment of levity to lift the spirits and eliminate the ennui.
Laughter Is The Best Medicine
I’ve always been a firm believer that there is a certain power in being silly. Even on the worst of days, I always find a moment to get silly even just for a moment. It’s my way of staying even keel through the downs. The saying “laughter is the best medicine” is one you’re likely familiar with, but do you know why it’s the best medicine? Yeah I didn’t either so I did a Google search for “Silliness impacts mental health” and came across a plethora of resources.
Keep in mind please, I’m not advocating that laughter actually is the best medicine. It’s important to consider the context. Laughter is definitely not going to cut the proverbial mustard if you are in a medical emergency. So you need open heart surgery? For that, the best medicine is probably a trained surgeon and some very expensive medical equipment, not a knock-knock joke. But when it comes to brightening someone’s day, it’s hard to argue the efficacy. Context people. It matters.
That being said, you might be surprised at just how many different benefits one can reap from a good hearty chortle. From releasing endorphins, to boosting your immune system, to even burning a few calories (whaaaaaat??) The benefits are surprising yet totally welcome and awesome. And how about the impact you have on others? It’s important to note that you’ve got to be able to read the temperature of the room before you decide that its time to get silly, but how amazing does it feel to have your friends, family, co-workers etc. laugh along with you? It’s kind of intoxicating right?
Check out the article by Lawrence Robinson, Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. here.
So whether you’re flicking Highlighter caps like me, or finding your own way to create a silly moment. Keep doing your thing. Your body and mind will thank you and reward you for your silliness.