It takes courage to laugh at yourself, but there is no cure as good as the healing hand of laughter. Humour increases energy levels and decreases negative emotions. Laughter and humour are powerful tools for coping with the stresses of life. The healing hand of laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, and diminishes pain. I was blessed with a grandmother who had a delightful sense of humour and passed it on to some of her progeny.
Laughter can change people’s perspective. The more we can make others laugh about our misfortunes, the better equipped we will be at seeing unsavoury events from our past in a lighter perspective. In laughing at our awkward mishaps, we make room for others to do the same.
The Right Kind Of Humour
There is no single right way to use humour, as humour is as individual as each of us. What one person finds hilarious, others may not see it funny at all.
The appropriateness and effectiveness of humour depends on factors such as the circumstances, the people that you’re talking to, and the goal that you’re hoping to achieve.
Even a decade ago it was thought women weren’t funny. Most men want women to laugh at their jokes, but are uncomfortable with female comediennes. However, there are numerous female comediennes who are game changers. They offer the healing hand of laughter.
The Healing Hand of Laughter At Work
There has always been an argument about the validity of a female comedian as opposed to a male comedian. Would a female Charlie Chaplin have been as funny as the male version? Have you ever seen a female clown? The hardest part for a female comedian is to retain her femininity.
When it’s male versus female, we need to appreciate the similarities and respect the differences. Both have a lot to offer. We laugh at Punch and Judy shows where commonly accepted roles are reversed.
Very few female comedians make it to the big time. The women who succeed, push boundaries through their comedy. These women tackle everything from our squeamishness about the female body to ongoing race and gender inequalities in society. They’re bold, often raunchy, and excruciatingly funny. Many of them use their voices for good to highlight issues in society.
While some female comediennes may be too raunchy for some, the bottom line is that people who laugh at themselves exhibit greater levels of emotional well-being.
It’s the positive emotions we receive from a good laugh that allows us to be more flexible, creative, and effective at problem-solving. The healing hand of laughter at work burns calories, kicks the brain into a higher gear, releases emotions through crying and gives an endorphin boost. There are laughter clubs, where laugher yoga is taught.
Comediennes Are the Healing Hands of Laughter
Fania Borach, known professionally as Fannie Brice, was an American comedienne, song model, singer, theatre and film actress. She made many stage, radio, and film appearances. Fanny was the creator and star of the top-rated radio comedy series The Baby Snooks.
There was no one funnier, meaner, or more all-around terrifying than Joan Rivers. She was an American comedian, actress, producer, writer and television host. From her stand-up to her E! hosting stints and her namesake talk show, Rivers, her quick wit showed through. She constantly challenged the way women are expected to express themselves in public.
River’s trademark was her controversial sass, and blunt biting wit, but there was an underlying compassion. She used self-deprecating one-liners like “I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware”.
Rivers knew the giddy heights, but she also plumbed the depths when her husband committed suicide. Instead of giving up, she worked with maniacal fever into her 80s and became a cultural icon. From being stony broke, she recreated herself and had a billion-dollar company before dying in 2014.
Chitlin’ Circuit of the 1960s, produced a veteran and pioneering black lesbian stand-up. Moms Mabley was a true comedy trailblazer. She addressed topics like racism and sexuality that were often deemed too controversial for her time. Mabley began her career in the theatre in the 1920s. It’s hard to imagine where comedy would be today without her influence.
Melissa Ann McCarthy is an American actress, comedian, producer, writer, and fashion designer. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including two Primetime Emmy Awards and nominations for two Academy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards. McCarthy is well known for her performance in the film Bridesmaid, but she has starred in other films that show-cased her comedienne talent as being even more credible.
In 2018, Hannah Gadsby took the comedy world by storm with the Netflix special Nanette. Gatsby announced she was giving up comedy, but people begged her for more, so she delayed her retirement.
Gadsby gets the fans roaring with laughter with her take on autism diagnosis, her violent experiences with sexism and homophobia. Comedy that is based on existing outside the accepted norms of mainstream society. There is a vast difference between moderate humor and extreme humor. Jokes, sitcoms and comediennes are all designed to get us laughing, because laughing feels good and is beneficial to our health.
The Value Of The Healing Hand of Laughter
Never forget the value of the healing hand of laughter as the best form of therapy, particularly if you are dealing with a difficult relationship. Pablo Neruda said ‘“Laugher is the language of the soul.”
Laughter is a uniquely human experience. The term “laughing hyenas” is not that hyenas can laugh, but because of their giggle vocalization, which sounds very much like hysterical human laughter.
Don’t let laughter be seldom found in your life. Life is too short to take ourselves too seriously, and it’s healthy to laugh at yourself. Mary Pettibone Poole said, “The one who laughs is the one who lasts”.
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