Reality Check: Have You Had a Laugh Today?

There are times when laughter may be the furthest thing from our minds. We are, after all, mature responsible adults. We need to be sensible, serious, and handle things. We may not see much room or opportunity for the frivolity of laughter.
However, according to Dr. Glasser’s Choice Theory, one of our basic needs is the need for fun.
Everyone doesn’t have the same level of need for fun. For some, it’s strong. You might see that in folks who chase fun-filled activities and pursue opportunities that some of us, with lower needs for fun, might deem frivolous.
However, we each have some level of the need, and I think it’s worth a mention right now. So much of what we hear, see, and read is decidedly anti-fun. If you listen to news, read social media, or simply talk to people, you could come away with the perspective that fun and laughter are far from the current thing. Instead, it’s war, poverty, injustice, difficulties of all kinds, whether on a global or personal scale.
If we neglect our need for fun, if we choose not to pay attention to it, what might happen?
Choice Theory offers an explanation that uses one of those old-time balance scales to help illustrate what might go on. On one side is what we want; the other side is how we perceive what we have. If our internal scale is out of balance, then we get a “frustration signal” that tells us that something’s not working well.
What’s a frustration signal? It might show up in different ways: anger, fear, sadness, resentment, hopelessness, a feeling that life is out of our control…
And it might not be obvious to us that this is happening because we have a basic need that’s not being met. Worse, we may not perceive that there’s anywhere to find joy, to laugh, or to have fun. Or we might believe that we cannot laugh or enjoy ourselves until things are perfect. Or at least, better.
But if we delay taking joy until the day when everything is perfect, we’ll have a long wait, won’t we?
If you’re feeling vaguely dissatisfied and you don’t have a clear handle on why, maybe it’s worth considering the possibility that you are not meeting your need for fun. If so, what could you do?
My suggestion is that you deliberately, yes deliberately, seek out opportunities to laugh. For many with close families and friends, joy and laughter comes from the people around them. They may entertain us, tease us, and generally keep us from falling into the misunderstanding that there is nothing of fun to be found. Children and pets can also be a great source of the ridiculous.
What if you believe that you have none of these? If you are an internet user, then you already know that there’s a near-infinity of comical things that can take you away from a no-fun perspective for at least a few minutes. Can you really avoid smiling while you’re watching raccoons playing with puppies?
No internet? All is not lost. All those earlier un-wired generations had fun too! Decide on a hobby or interest that could bring a smile to your face. It need not be expensive or complicated. If nothing comes to mind, just pick something. It doesn’t have to be the perfect, ultimate solution. It’s just for fun.
What has brought a bit of fun for you today?

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