Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

9 Ways to Lighten up When Life Gets You Down

26 Comments

cutting up

I have a confession to make: I’ve been known to rip snort. I laugh loud. When I get to laughing really hard, well, I can snort. It’s so embarrassing. My kids tease me about it.

I do love a good laugh, and studies show that the old proverb “laughter is the best medicine” carries some truth. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter reduces stress, helps us relax, and combats depression by improving our mood.

People have known about the benefits of laughter for a long time.  Solomon wrote this proverb almost 3000 years ago:

cheerful heart

But you know what? When life starts to weigh me down, laughter is the first thing to go.  When my schedule gets full and my stress levels rise, I start to lose my sense of humor.

Life’s glitches and bumps can pull me down as if I were carrying the world on my shoulders. Pretty soon I take on a mentality that says, “I don’t have time for fun. I’ve got to hunker down to work on solving problems.” As if everything depended on me.

I start taking myself too seriously.

Difficult circumstances can break our spirits and sap our strength, but laughter and a cheerful heart are good medicine.

When your load is getting heavy, maybe it’s time to lighten up!

Here are 9 Ideas for Cultivating a Cheerful Spirit:

1.  Keep Your Perspective.

God’s got you covered. You don’t have to carry burdens you were never meant to. Life is a gift from God, so let’s enjoy what we can and trust Him with the rest.

2.  Make Time for Fun

Don’t let responsibilities crowd fun out of your life. We all need time to relax, whether we watch a movie, play a family game, or throw a Frisbee at the park.

3.  Smile More

The physical act of smiling at anyone or anything remotely pleasant lifts my mood. Try it. Try smiling to yourself right now and see if you don’t feel just a wee bit cheerier.

4.  Be Intentional About Laughing

The more you laugh, the more you’ll keep on laughing.

5.  Do Something Silly.

If you have kids, this should not be too hard. Put on a funny hat at breakfast. We love singing karaoke style. (Believe me, if you saw me belting out Bob Dylan’s classic “Like a Rolling Stone,” you’d laugh too.)

6.  Develop a Repertoire of Funny Family Stories

Living in Turkey, we get lots of laughs over how people mispronounce our names. (And we mispronounce theirs.) Like the sweet guy in the park who calls my husband and I Huseyin and Betty instead of Jose and Betsy. What stories make your family laugh?

7.  Watch or Read Something Funny

8.  Look for the Humorous Side of Difficult Situations.

Life is full of irony. Look for something to laugh at when you burn your dinner or drop it all over the kitchen floor.

9.  Learn to Laugh at Yourself

If you’re as clumsy as I am and put your foot in your mouth as often as I do, you’ll have plenty to laugh about.

So if your load is getting heavy today, how about lightening up? Try one of these ideas, and perhaps the medicine that Solomon suggested will help you feel better.

Now it’s your turn. What makes you laugh?

Linking up with Holly Barrett, Meredith Bernarad, and Holly Gerth:
Holly Barrett


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Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

26 thoughts on “9 Ways to Lighten up When Life Gets You Down

  1. This is so good! I definitely get stuck in “work” mode all too often. I do try to make sure I have some silly play time with the kids every day, but it doesn’t happen all throughout the day like it should. Pinning!

  2. Betsy, I so enjoyed your words this morning. Just a few days ago, my husband & I were laughing about something till our sides hurt & our eyes were squirting. And I said to him, I just love it when we can laugh at ourselves. It so lightens up life! Have a great Tuesday!

  3. Oh Betsy! This was timely- so timely!! Yes, I too take myself (and those around me) too seriously. Yet, the moments I cherish are the silly, light-hearted ones; and those are the ones I want more of! Thank you for this reminder today!! May your Tuesday be a cheerfully terrific one!!

  4. Oh Betsy, I am so guilty of this. When I am stressed out I take myself WAY to seriously and my husband has pointed it out on several occasions. 😉 It is something I’m working on. I do love a good laugh too and when the laughter tears start coming, those are the best. That’s when you realize how much you needed it. These are some great tips! Thanks for sharing.

  5. One of the reasons I fell in love with my husband is that he made me laugh. And he still does. 🙂

  6. These are great ideas! I completely agree with you that sometimes, we need to find ways to laugh or smile or just relax 🙂 YouTube can come in handy then! Visiting you from Testimony Tuesday.

    • So true, Angela. My teens always want to show me youtube videos, and do you know I find myself not wanting to take the time to watch, but I always end up laughing! Worth a few minutes for sure!

  7. Love this! Laughter does make you feel better! I was having a really rough weekend and the kids were stressing me out – but one of them did something that made me laugh. A real belly laugh. I let go into the laughter and it totally turned the day around and gave us all some great moments.

    • Good for you, Kathryn. I hope the rest of your week goes better than the weekend did. It’s always good to look on the bright side: how are kids make us laugh (even though they drive us crazy too!).

  8. Love the pic and #1. Keeping my perspective in check is a big one for me. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Betsy,
    Your advice is always spot on! My teenagers are the best about making the whole family laugh and bringing a spirit of joy into our day 🙂

  10. Love the suggestion to do something silly!! That’s one of my favorite ways to laugh! Thanks for sharing with us at Testimony Tuesday.

  11. I’ve had quite the week (or depending on how you look at it, two years). I just posted earlier this week about wondering if I’m just so focused on the negative, that it’s all I see, or am I really just having some terrible luck. I got lots of great advice on the post, but I could have just come here and read this. I’m smiling like a crazy person as I read this and, yup, I do feel better 😉

  12. Thanks for such an uplifting post, Betsy! I especially like #5, Do Something Silly. I find that when I’m silly with my kids, it not only makes me cheery, but it’s also great bonding together and makes for fun memories. Surprisingly, it usually gives me renewed energy too, when I’m feeling run-down!

    • It’s true. Silliness renews our energy! I looked and looked, but couldn’t find the picture of the silly crazy hats my daughter and I wore to the mall last year. We laughed harder than we ever had.

  13. LOVE this post, Betsy! Laughter has seen me through many a rough day. Finding the humor in the difficult times is indeed good medicine. My husband and I have many funny stories of his days in the hospital last year during some really uncertain and scary times. The Lord graced us with laughter and kept our spirits up. And, of course, laughter in the good times is priceless. Those are the times we cherish and remember and talk about throughout our lives. Laughter lives on and is shared with others for a lifetime. Have a great day!

  14. Thank you Betsy for this great reminder. I especially love learning #9 Laughing at myself. I do the craziest things at times! Thank you for sharing.

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