Laughter in an Insane World

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

Let’s be honest: We live in a crazy world with a lot of well-meaning but crazy people. Unless you frequently meditate or go live in the mountains somewhere, it’s difficult to escape the insanity of our modern world.

Whether we care to admit it or not, most of us contribute to the craziness with our political beliefs (and the resulting lengthy Facebook posts), our religious or spiritual beliefs (and again, the resulting lengthy Facebook posts), and the way we generally treat people.

I’ve witnessed too many people on social media claim to be “enlightened” before getting into the kinds of arguments you’d expect from a twelve-year old. I’ve seen people attempt to be a voice of reason on the internet only to be drowned out by a sea of passionate anger from those who’ve long abandoned reason.

Most people would rather fight over their differences than work together to improve a world they claim to care about. If you try to approach them with reason, they’ll drown you out like a toddler throwing a tantrum. Sadly, their tantrum will garner much more attention than your plea for sensibility.

For some reason, we’re more attracted to being outraged (and outrageous) than being sensible. Maintaining a sense of humor allows you to laugh at this craziness instead of letting it make you think humanity is hopeless.

Laugh at the World

It’s easy to be depressed about the state of the world. These days, it’s especially easy to attract hate because of your race, age, beliefs, country of origin, or other similar things about you.

So, what should we do?

We should laugh at the chaos. We should look at our society – our “leaders”, the highly opinionated public they try to “lead”, and most importantly, ourselves – and have a good laugh at it all.

I believe this is one of few genuine ways we can give important issues attention and, as crazy as it sounds, maybe even solve one or two of them. Humor creates a conversation in which everyone can feel welcome by, ironically, having their viewpoint satirized.

With everyone’s viewpoint properly trashed, we can have actual debates in which neither side takes itself too seriously and emotions don’t get in the way. We can be aware of the importance of the issues we discuss and still laugh at them together. In doing so, we might even get somewhere. For once.

Laugh at Yourself

The world isn’t the only thing we should laugh at.

Laughing at your flaws humanizes you and makes them easier to talk about. Most introverts avoid social situations because they worry that if they let their personality show too much, their flaws will become apparent and their “friends” will laugh at them. Most of us want to avoid feeling like nobody likes us.

If we can laugh at our flaws straight out of the gate, we can show those who’d use them as fuel for their hate-fire that they don’t bother us. They’ll see that they can’t get under our skin because we already laugh at ourselves.

We’ll feel more comfortable around people because we’ll no longer try so hard to maintain a false image. We’ll be open about our good and bad qualities, inviting people to accept us for who we are or not.

Laugh Because It Makes You Think

Humor can undoubtedly be used negatively, but most people who joke about controversial topics do it to get people to laugh and think.

Those who can’t lighten up may not see the humor in some controversial topics, but laughter can nonetheless bring awareness and inspire change. To joke about something is not to be unaware of its severity, but to lay a foundation of humor that makes people comfortable talking about it. In this way, we can get the masses to discuss things they prefer to ignore.

How do you think comedians get people to laugh about serious or extreme situations? This doesn’t mean they or their audience fail to realize the extreme nature of what they joke about. To the contrary; they use comedy to generate discussion on topics they know are difficult to discuss.

Would you enjoy it more if I droned on about the government and the endless wars we’re fighting overseas, or if I used humor to make this otherwise unfunny situation approachable? The answer is obvious.

Laugh Because It’s Good for You

I could give plenty of examples of things we should laugh about. Modern-day politics, for example, is either hilarious, terrifying, or both depending on how you choose to see it. Personally, If I couldn’t laugh about it all, I might end up terribly depressed.

It turns out that humor not only creates a discussion and helps you laugh at otherwise serious issues. It’s also good for society and us as individuals.

Here are a few of humor’s benefits, courtesy of HopeSpeak.com.

Laughing and maintaining a sense of humor can:

  • Help you become more resistant to disease by rejecting stress hormones and increasing antibodies that fight infection (1)
  • Help your muscles relax (1)
  • Help you let go of stress and stay positive in negative situations (1)
  • Help you through times of sadness and anxiousness (1)
  • “Increase energy for your brain and body”, helping you stay focused and be less afraid or overwhelmed by life’s challenges (1)
  • Help you make a good first impression and emotionally connect with people (1)
  • Help you get through disagreements that cause anger and pain (1)

According to Psychology Today, humor poses physical and psychological benefits such as helping with stress. As Dacher Keltner and others have discovered, it can also help with the grieving process. They found that it was easier for spouses of the deceased to adjust to their loss if they could laugh about it spontaneously. (2)

Laughter’s physical benefits, Psychology Today reports, include helping your lungs, circulation, and muscles (particularly muscles around your belly), as well as helping you get through “pain and physical adversity”. (2)

Laugh Because It’s Good for Your Relationships

According to Psychology Today, it’s unsurprising that people often admire those with a good sense of humor. Your sense of humor or lack thereof could determine whether someone wants to be your friend, go on a date with you, or be in a long-term relationship. (2)

According to “most studies”, Psychology Today reports, people look for humor in those with whom they consider having any kind of relationship. Barb Frederickson and others who’ve studied positivity’s upsides have found that humor can even make you more creative. Joking about awkward interactions and “uncomfortable situations” can also make them easier. (2)

This information shows us that humor not only poses benefits for the mind and body, but your relationships and society overall. If we can laugh, we can be more comfortable around others and start healing aspects of ourselves and the world that are broken.

Laugh at Yourself Some More

Let’s return to what’s perhaps the most difficult thing to laugh about: yourself.

By laughing at yourself, you learn to lighten up and stop taking yourself so seriously.

Spiritual people can look to J.P. Sears as an example of someone unafraid to poke fun at himself and the community he contributes to. He puts some of the most common spiritual clichés on display, giving him a platform to discuss many of the pitfalls of being “spiritual” in the modern world.

Sears pokes fun at those of us who strive to be as “spiritual” as possible by pretending to advocate outlandish viewpoints that make him, as he puts it, “ultra-spiritual”. He uses humor to comment on the downsides of modern spiritual and new age philosophies without trashing us just for being who we are.

In doing so, he helps us hone our philosophy to something insightful yet still self-aware and down to earth.

When watching his videos – particularly his video on cannabis – I feel like I’m given a free pass to laugh at myself and the absurdity of some of the beliefs I’ve subscribed to.

It doesn’t make me want to change who I am over some inherent philosophical pitfalls. Instead, it encourages me to have good laugh at myself and then refine my philosophy into something more reasonable.

It’s nice to have your head in the clouds and I’m all for it (seriously; people should spend more time in that space), but it’s important to be sensible too.

To a reasonable extent, I’m comfortable laughing at myself and the way I live. I couldn’t write about all these different topics every day if I didn’t have a sense of humor about them. I’d be far too serious and preachy.

Laugh Because… Why Not?

We talk a lot about changing the world, but I’d prefer not to live in a changed world if it means nobody can laugh. I think social change should be preceded by much-needed personal change that includes the development of a collective sense of humor. Change is futile until we can all laugh.

So, in concluding this, I want to ask a simple question: why not laugh? Provided we don’t use humor as an excuse for hate, we have every reason to laugh at our world and the people in it. This includes ourselves.

I can laugh at myself for unintentionally playing into some of the common spiritual stereotypes, just as I can laugh at the stereotypical right-winger who’d probably burn all hippie spiritual people at the stake if they could.

I can have fun with the shortcomings of others if I can first laugh at my own. Instead of being hateful for the sheer sake of hate, this purposeful sense of humor can open a dialogue between me and all others who think differently. It shows that I’m not so serious that I can’t be open to other perspectives.

The next time you take yourself or the world too seriously, stop and laugh at this bizarre thing we call life. You’ll feel better, be more open with others, and have authentic conversations with those who think differently. Humor will light up your life, providing mental and emotional freedom for you and all involved.

Sources:

  1. “The Importance of Sense of Humor”, HopeSpeak.com, December 16, 2014 – https://www.hopespeak.com/blog/the-importance-of-sense-of-humor/
  2. Peter McGraw, Ph.D, “The Importance of Humor Research”, Psychology Today, September 14, 2011 – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-humor-code/201109/the-importance-humor-research

Featured image credit

About the author: 

win_20170424_10_54_20_proI’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, revolution, music and the transformative creative force known as love. I run Openhearted Rebel, a daily news blog dedicated to igniting a revolution of love by raising social and spiritual awareness.

I also have a personal blog, Wes Annac’s Personal Blog, in which I share writings related to spiritual philosophy, creativity, heart consciousness and revolution (among other topics).

I write from the heart and try to share informative and enlightening reading material with the rest of the conscious community. When I’m not writing or exploring nature, I’m usually making music.

Follow me on Facebook (Wes Annac, https://www.facebook.com/openheartedrebel and Twitter (Wes Annac, https://twitter.com/love_rebellion

If you enjoyed this post and want to support my work, consider a donation by sending funds via PayPal to wesremal@yahoo.com.

Recent articles and videos:

No copyright. Share freely with attribution to Wes Annac and Openhearted Rebel.

Advertisements

Thank You For Supporting the Blog

Thank you to everyone who donated and helped us at a time when we really needed it. Because of you, we can make end’s meet and keep the blog running.

I look forward to continuing to share (what I hope to be) insightful writings on society and the evolution of mind, body, and soul. Your support ensures I can do so and still pay the bills; a feat that’s not always easy to achieve.

Look out for more writings from me on the Openhearted Rebel blog, as I’ve committed to a more rigorous writing and posting schedule. I intend to post an article of my own every day, if not nearly every day, from here on out. Again, your support helps me survive while I do this.

I can’t thank all of you enough, and I intend to pay it back with articles I hope you’ll enjoy and learn something from.

In love and gratitude,

Wes Annac & Family

If you’d like to help support the blog, contributions can be sent via PayPal to wesremal@yahoo.com. Any and all support is appreciated.

Featured image credit

Awakening in Action

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

The Openhearted Rebel blog is in need of financial help, as we’re low on funds this month and require reader support to keep the blog going. If you’d like to support us, consider a donation or subscription to the Weekly Awareness Guide.

I wrote the following for the 263rd issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.

Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. The option to subscribe is given at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

Spiritual awakening is the greatest gift you can receive, as it makes you aware you are a multidimensional being with a foot in all worlds. It helps you to see that the world is far more surreal than we like to think. Spiritual awakening is a treasure not to be discarded or misused, but cherished.

To “wake up” isn’t enough on its own, however. Once we’re awake, it’s up to us to do something with it. The universe doesn’t hand out enlightenment; we must pursue it and any opportunity for evolution our awakening provides.

We must do something with the gift we’ve been given.

The first question, then, is what to do with your awakening. Do you want to dive headfirst into the pursuit of a higher consciousness, or do you want to use what you’ve learned so far to help others? You could choose to forget about your awakening altogether, but why discard something so valuable?

You’re better off choosing one of the other options. Personally, I choose both.

I use writing to share what I’ve learned with those walking a similar path, and I use music and meditation to grow closer with the inner spirit. Writing also brings me closer to this part of myself, serving the dual purpose of expanding my mind while helping me to help you.

Although writing is undoubtedly a stern mental discipline, it feels good once you get the hang of it and the words start to flow.

Once awake, you can use writing, music, meditation, and plenty of other similar activities to become more aware while helping others do the same. With writing, you can research and share what others have said about the spiritual path or you can go straight to the source: your own mind, heart, and intuition.

The same can be said for if you pursue music, as creativity comes from the heart. The mind certainly has its role to play, but the heart lays the foundation.

In my opinion, the greatest thing you can do with your spiritual awakening is to return to the heart. Let your awakening redefine love as you know it. Awakening makes you aware of love and the importance of sharing it with a world that doesn’t know what it truly is.

Let the heart take center stage in your life. Share love with all, and let your love inspire compassion. After an awakening, your heart will break when you see how many people are suffering across the world. Don’t fear a broken heart. Let it fuel you to change what you cannot tolerate.

War, famine, and poverty are unacceptable. Tyrannical governments and dictatorships controlling, watching, and killing their own citizens is unacceptable. The suffering of the innocent angers and saddens the heart. In this way, you can see compassion as a source of power. Use it, and use it wisely.

One aspect of spiritual awakening people avoid is that it leads you to embrace what makes you uncomfortable. It led me to start exercising, for example, and to become a writer in this community. Despite that these things make me uncomfortable, they’re important to the path I’ve chosen.

My awakening has blessed me with a clear understanding of why I’m here and why I should pursue the path ahead of me. This doesn’t mean it’s always comfortable or I’m always satisfied, but it’s worth all the trouble.

Whether you want it to or not, spiritual awakening will take you out of your comfort zone. It will lead you to things you never thought you’d be comfortable with, like meditation or creative work in service to humanity.

Whether you cross that threshold willingly or unwillingly is up to you. But if you stick with your path after awakening, you will cross it.

Spiritual awakening is a gift, a blessing, and a pain. It’s not all sunshine and flowers, but if you can get past the hardest obstacles on your path, there will be plenty of sunshine to come.

Embrace all aspects of your awakening – especially what forces you to leave your comfort zone – and you’ll quickly go from awake to transformed. To be awake is great, but to transform is to realize the goal of the path on which your awakening sets you.

PayPal
$11.11 monthly subscription via credit, debit, or PayPal.

Featured image credit

About the author: 

I’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, revolution, music and the transformative creative force known as love. I run Openhearted Rebel, a daily news blog dedicated to igniting a revolution of love by raising social and spiritual awareness.

I also have a personal blog, Wes Annac’s Personal Blog, in which I share writings related to spiritual philosophy, creativity, heart consciousness and revolution (among other topics).

I write from the heart and try to share informative and enlightening reading material with the rest of the conscious community. When I’m not writing or exploring nature, I’m usually making music.

Follow me on Facebook (Wes Annac, https://www.facebook.com/openheartedrebel and Twitter (Wes Annac, https://twitter.com/love_rebellion

If you enjoyed this post and want to support my work, consider a donation (no PayPal account required):

Recent articles and videos:

No copyright. Share freely with attribution to Wes Annac and Openhearted Rebel.

Video: How Does Marijuana Help the Body?

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

In this video, I share some information about the many medicinal benefits of marijuana.

If you like this video, subscribe to the Openhearted Rebel YouTube channel and stay tuned for more content soon to come.

Sources:

1. Nishi Whiteley, “Cannabis 101: THC & CBD”, Chronic Relief – http://mychronicrelief.com/cannabis-101-thc-cbd/

2. “Analgesic the Beauty of Cannabis PAIN Relief”, United Patients Group – https://unitedpatientsgroup.com/analgesic-cannabis-pain-relief/

3. Amee L., “CBD: Marijuana Component That Relieves Pain Without The Smoke Or High”, Back Pain Solutions Online, September 26, 2012 – http://backpainsolutionsonline.com/announcements-and-releases/backpain/cbd-marijuana-component-that-relieves-pain-without-the-smoke-or-high

About the author: 

win_20170424_10_54_20_proI’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, revolution, music and the transformative creative force known as love. I run Openhearted Rebel, a daily news blog dedicated to igniting a revolution of love by raising social and spiritual awareness.

I also have a personal blog, Wes Annac’s Personal Blog, in which I share writings related to spiritual philosophy, creativity, heart consciousness and revolution (among other topics).

I write from the heart and try to share informative and enlightening reading material with the rest of the conscious community. When I’m not writing or exploring nature, I’m usually making music.

Follow me on Facebook (Wes Annac, https://www.facebook.com/openheartedrebel and Twitter (Wes Annac, https://twitter.com/love_rebellion

If you enjoyed this post and want to support my work, consider a donation (no PayPal account required):

PayPal button

Recent articles and videos:

No copyright. Share freely with attribution to Wes Annac and Openhearted Rebel.

8 Interesting and Strange Unexplained Mysteries – Part 1/3 (Weekly Awareness Guide)

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

I wrote the following for the 262nd issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.

Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. The option to subscribe is given at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

Unexplained mysteries are fascinating; especially when they’re centered on the paranormal. It’s fun to think there could be more to the world than the monotonous existence we put up with and secretly hope contains something more meaningful. This is the reason I’m interested in spirituality and all manner of things science can’t explain.

Even I can admit, however, that the world of the paranormal can be ridiculous. Some paranormal topics you just can’t take seriously. If you’re going to discuss those topics, I recommend doing it in the most down-to-earth way you can. Continue reading

Art Is a Bridge (Meditative Writing)

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

I wrote the following “meditative writing” for the 260th issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.

Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. The option to subscribe is given at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

Think seriously about why you enjoy writing, art, and music. What is it about creative work that seems to send your soul soaring? It’s as if some inherent quality in creative work connects you with a long-lost and forgotten part of yourself.

Have you ever been moved by an inspiring piece of literature or brought to tears by a piece of music? There’s a reason these things affect you the way they do. Continue reading

5 Facts About the World’s First “Forest City”

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

In this video, we’ll learn 5 facts about the first Forest City, which will be built in China.

Sources:

http://www.china-mike.com/facts-about-china/facts-pollution-environment-energy/

http://www.trueactivist.com/china-is-building-the-worlds-first-forest-city-to-combat-air-pollution/

http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/various-solar-energy-facts.php

Featured image credit