It's one thing to have a great career, increase your net worth, live in a big house, drive a sporty car, have a nice family, and enjoy the benefits of being a successful physician. It's quite another if your life is relatively humorless.
According to some studies, 44-year-olds, on average, laugh less often each day than children under age 7 and adults over age 65? That's kind of sad when you think about it. Imagine going years, if not decades, in your professional career maintaining a relatively humorless posture compared to those much younger or significantly older? Like the Peggy Lee song lamented, "Is that all there?" Is the life that you're currently all there is?
If it's been awhile since you have let out a good belly laugh, or you'd simply like to smile more often throughout the day, here are some ideas that will get you back on the road to mirth:
- Buy a joke book. What kind of joke book you want to buy is up to you. The Dilbert series by Scott Adams is quite funny if you're into office humor. The Far Side series by Gary Larson hasn't been in vogue for almost two decades, but my goodness is it funny even to this day. A variety of other joke books and joke genres are readily available. In fact, you don't even have to buy a book, you can go online and find comic strips, lists of jokes by topic, by geography, and so on. Your ability to quickly find reading material that will make you laugh has never been easier.
- Watch funny movies. On DVD, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon fire stick, or however you acquire them, you can find funny movies and funny shows that can make a difference in your life. Teen flicks are particularly funny when done well. “Mean Girls,” “10 Things I Hate About You,” and “She's All That” are bound to bring a smile to your face. Screwball comedies might be your cup of tea. Some comedies from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s have stood the test of time and are still funny today. In addition, there are a number of channels where you can watch comedians in high gear, including Showtime, Starz, Cinemax, and HBO.
- Associate with people who are humorous. If you already have close friends to exchange jokes and witticisms with, it's to your great advantage. Think about it though, among your professional colleagues, people in your social circles, those you knew way back when, including medical school, college, and even high school – what percentage of them are humorous? Is it one in five? Is it none in five? Is it time, perhaps, to seek out new friends who have a lighter, cheerier, and more mirthful approach to life?
- Look for everyday humor. We all encounter humorous situations at work, at home, and in life, but to what degree do we take note of them? Sometimes, we muster a half, inner smile, and then in the next second, proceed past it so that the encounter has no bearing on us. If you begin to note the humorous situations all around you, soon enough, they begin to take on greater importance. You actively seek them. Before you know it, your quest for a humor-filled life becomes a significant part of your day.
If you undertake the activities above, not too far in the future, you'll find that you've added a measure of humor back into your life that helps to offer some semblance of balance. After all, you're still going to have trying days and intense challenges. It's that fine balance that makes it all so much nicer.