Whether you’re into energy healing, massage, hypnosis, meditation, or simply a candle-lit bubble bath to rinse away the day’s stress, there are countless ways you can look after your emotional wellbeing.
One of my favourite tools, however, was handed down to me by my dad: getting silly. My dad embraced this wonderful philosophy that, no matter how dire and serious a situation was, you could always play with it in some way. He was like a big otter, playing with anything that came his way. He had a tough life, and silliness was the superpower that kept him winning, one quip at a time, over the challenges he faced.
Over the years, I came to realise the wisdom of his approach, and to do my best to follow his example. I found out for myself that levity allows me to float up through the murky adversities of life like a cork, and surf them.
Think about it – virtually nothing can affect you as long as you laugh at it. Imagine someone trying to bully you, and you finding it funny! Imagine an anxiety-inducing situation – what would happen to that anxiety if suddenly the scene looked hilarious?
Humour has tremendous power to pull the rug out from anything which has a hold on you. When appropriate, I use it in therapy, too – and here’s an example of how you can harness it for yourself: next time you find your thoughts stuck on something painful someone said to you, re-run the scene in your mind, and give them a funny voice. Make them talk like Donald Duck, or an old witch, or a little mouse. What happens to the emotional intensity? Allow yourself a good giggle! How do you feel now?
If the hurtful scene from the past does not contain dialogue, re-run it with some funny music in the background. I’m quite partial to the Grand Old Duke of York, and make everyone in my scene march along!
Remember, your mind is your own, and you make the meaning. You have the power to change meaning and significance of anything which is contained in your memories and thoughts – and those thoughts will not be able to cause you pain if you don’t let them.
Have fun, play, experiment – be silly, giggly and wise. My dad would be proud of you.