Finding Laughter: The Habit of Cheerfulness (Day 27)
Healthy laughter, especially regular and copious amounts of laughter, requires a cheerful heart. This book, I’d Rather Be Laughing: Finding Cheer in Every Circumstance by Marilyn Meberg, tells how to develop a cheerful heart.
I will list some of the points that Meberg makes about establishing a foundation of cheer. Be sure to read the book in order to get the back-stories and all of her ideas.
Recognize Life Is Not Meant To Be Perfect
“Of course we all know nothing is perfect-don’t we? Yet why do we continue to feel restless and on a quest for perfection? What makes us think it is attainable? And how can we find cheer when we’re muddling about looking for perfection?” ~ Marilyn Meberg
We look for this perfection in our marriages, children, and in fact in all relationships. We look for perfection in the service industry, in those we deal with at work (whether a co-worker, boss, client, or assistant). We look for perfection in ourselves: how we look, talk, and perform in all areas of life. We look for perfection from our machinery: cars, air conditioners, computers, and this list goes on and on. And when perfection is not attained we get depressed, angry, GROUCHY or feel picked upon.
But anyone can . . .
Develop A Habit Of Cheerfulness
By developing the HABIT of cheerfulness, we can live with an ATTITUDE of cheerfulness. We acquire certain behavior patterns [aka habits] by frequent repetition.” These frequent repetitions of behavior affect our thinking and feeling.  What do we need to repeat and repeat? Two things: what we think and recalling the past.
Make A Choice On How To Think
Our attitude is directly impacted by what we think. Taking a cue from Philippians 4:8, let’s think on these things throughout our days.
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” (Philippians 4:8, MSG)
Until I read this version of the verse (The Message) I would have said I was fine, that I have gracious thoughts and words. But this past weekend I was complaining (cursing really but without bad words) about service that we received at a famous coffee shop. I really do want to concentrate more on praising and stop with the complaining.
So I want to CHOOSE to think upon the “true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
Bring Up The Past
“I am convinced that one of life’s most easily accessible sources of cheer is to remember some of the off-the-wall, crazy things that happen to us. . . The original cheerful feeling will always remain attached to that memory. . . . Seeing and reliving those good memories can give me a giggle as well as a break from the circumstances that threaten to overwhelm me during a difficult time.” ~ Marilyn Meberg
I have already started a laughter journal because of this #write31days commitment. I am writing down things that made me laugh from my childhood, but that has been HARD to remember that far back. I think I need to include more current things like I did laugh at Retreat a LOT:
- A bathroom conversation where Bip misunderstood what I said
- Mary told stories that were startling and so were FUNNY
- Seeing LaRee so excited about singing Jabba the Hut
These are just a few things that will go into my journal. It is true, thinking about them now gives me a giggle.
There are more points from this book. I will share a couple more in a future post. But you’ll have to read the book to really know them. This book is WORTH the read.
Your Turn . . . Do you already have the habit of cheerfulness? . . . . Did you know another way we can develop this cheerful habit is by “indulging” in more fun. What do you do at home, work, or in the neighborhood that fosters the atmosphere of fun? I NEED ideas.
I am joining 100’s of others at #write31days to write every day in October on a single topic. My topic is 31 Days of Finding Laughter. I will spend time each day studying laughter to see if I can improve my laughter quotient.
Go here for the landing page which has all the posts in one spot.
Read, learn, and discover with me what this world of laughter is all about and is it all that it’s cracked up to be. And be sure to leave a comment. Talking together will make for a richer, interactive experience for all of us.