Humor And Laughter In The Family: Strengthening The Bond

 

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Is laughter a vital part of your life? Do you think it can be a source of strength, connectedness, and togetherness for your family? Yes, I do!

 

I’ve always believed in humor and laughter as part of strengthening my family’s bond. For me, they are vital factors of a healthy, happy, and healthy family life. In fact, I regard these two as one of the five elements that build a genuinely thriving family – quality time, humor, prayer, family dinners, and conversations. Among the five, humor is the most convenient way to help families thrive. Why?

 

Simple. Laughter and humor create an environment of happiness and joy in the home. It improves family relationships, establishes connections, and creates wonderful memories. It cultivates love and closeness by encouraging all family members to have fun with each other’s company. Because the greatest humor is strongly based on truth and courses out of a profound reflection of life as it is, laughter also evokes transparency and goodness. It gets rid of the insincerity and breaks down the barriers. It helps develop openness, alleviates tensions, and provides a source of healing and forgiveness for each family member or, in any case, from person to person.

 

Consequently, a few hours of laughter in a day make the home a happy space to live in. If you have not tried it, I can tell you that there are many wonders that laughter has given my family and me. As one writer says, one can’t love somebody if we can’t laugh with them, and there is truly a whole lot of truth in that.

 

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Laughter improves physical health.

 

Studies have confirmed that those who possess a good sense of humor and make time to laugh have a lesser likelihood of having long-term mental and medical illnesses. They further stated that all the systems of the body benefit from having a hearty laugh. For instance, the respiratory and cardiovascular systems get such a great workout from 20 seconds of vigorous laughter compared to 3 minutes of rowing exercise! Additionally, laughing reduces overall muscle tension. Happy hormones are discharged into the bloodstream, producing the same emotions that experienced joggers refer to as a ‘runner’s high.’ Even the Bible testifies to this when it says that a happy heart is like good medicine.

 

Families who live to laugh and make happy moments are also not susceptible to suffer from anxiety and burnout. They have a greater chance of enjoying their lives. They also have a better mindset and embrace the fact that life has its ups and downs and consider it as a magnificent adventure that they will seize together. This is why humor helps us manage not only our failures but also our everyday struggles and even our losses. It’s been said that to possess a sense of humor and to know how to laugh is to understand and embrace the existence of human suffering.

 

If you want to turn your home into a place where walls echo with laughter and where your family can appreciate the fact that you are together, take heed of these simple pieces of advice.

 

  • Find humor wherever you are. You may need to exert extra effort, but it’s all worth it. You’ll soon realize that life, in general, is filled with humor and a lot of things that are worth laughing about. It’s true what Art Linkletter says – we as a people are truly funny. So be on the lookout for the funny element in everyone and in every place you go. If it’s not there, make one for yourself.

 

  • Don’t take things very seriously. It’s usually difficult to see the insignificance of our existence when you look at the bigger picture, right? We most often think that the trials we go through are larger than life, and we must face them seriously so we can solve them. In the process, we have allowed our petty arguments and issues to overshadow our whole lives. Let’s not continue that. Try to relax and take one step backward before confronting a trial so you can see the bigger picture. What you’re facing is only one in a million. Don’t fret over it all; it will consume you.

 

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  • Commit to laugh even if you don’t want to. It’s exactly when you’ve had a really bad day that a good belly laugh is mostly needed. During these times, a little bit of humor lightens the burden and reduces the tension. And it will certainly keep the family together.

 

  • Find out what tickles your partner or your kids. When you notice that your children are bursting with laughter, be attentive, and find out what caused it. Study each of their personalities so that you can differentiate cynicism from clowning. Observe them regularly and concentrate on their humor styles. Learn to identify each of your children’s roles in the family, including your partner’s. Knowing these things will guide you in maintaining the equilibrium between sensitivity and humor.

 

 

What Makes Us Feel Lonely During This Pandemic Situation?

Perhaps you already know that loneliness is one of the universal emotions anyone one of us has. In a time like this that we need to face an invisible enemy, we can’t help but think about all the list of things we want answers. Unfortunately, with all the ongoing battle of facing reality and attaching it to the instant adjustment we need to deal with, we become mentally and emotionally vulnerable. Sometimes, even if we think we can manage, the situation tells us we can’t.

Loneliness is not something we desire. However, we know we need it at some point. It gives us an opportunity to reflect on ourselves and think about what we can do in this situation. It is a feeling that makes us realize our capabilities, worth, and overall balance. So in this time of crisis, what are the things that can make us lonely? Here are some of the few you might want to check out.

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Not Knowing How To Connect With people

In this global health crisis, some of us are thanking the situation for demanding a social distancing protocol. That is because some of us do not know how to connect with people, and this is the exact moment that excuses us from connecting with others. However, loneliness becomes attached to the idea because we all crave closeness and relationships, especially at this time of the pandemic. And without anyone by our side, we feel alone and lonely. From there, we choose to be more isolated and distant.

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Scared Of Temporary Intimacy

One of the reasons why right now is not the right moment to engage in a new relationship is because of the fear of temporary intimacy. A lot of us are afraid that when we invest feelings for someone, it won’t last. That even if we feel something for that person, it’s not going to support a lasting commitment due to the thought that one day when all these are over, things will go back to the way they were. With that, part of our loneliness is the challenge of letting people into our lives. There is an emotional fear of vulnerability that we don’t want others to see.

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There Are A Lot Of Change

We are in a situation that we know adjustment is a must. We understand that the only way to survive this pandemic is for us to follow safety protocols. That is, even if it means sacrificing the things that we are used to doing. But with all the challenges and emotional burden of complying and doing what you are not supposed to, it gives this sense of loneliness. There is this part of us that tells us we can’t do anything but to adapt to the idea of a new normal. There is the pressure of uncertainty, and that is something we know we don’t like. From there, we get confused, heartbroken, and lost.

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Losing Touch Of One’s Self

One thing that we can all hate about this global health crisis is the idea of losing ourselves. There is an emotional turmoil that buildup at the back of our minds because we can no longer do what we want to. Somehow we feel that this situation is changing us only to damage us in the long run. With that, we become unaware of ourselves because we have to consider restrictions. That even if other people suggest that we should widen our horizons and learn new things, we can’t because we don’t want to. Over time, we forget what we truly want, and that brings us to a deep sense of loneliness.

The Advantages Of The Pandemic Lockdown

People randomly complain about the adverse effects of Coronavirus. I guess I can’t blame them for that. It causes a lot of struggle, and until now, it continues to make more lives miserable. People face lots of physical, emotional, and mental heartaches, and there is no exemption. Aside from that, no one knows when all of this would end. But with all due respect to those people who hate the situation, there are still good things attached to this phenomenon.

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Family Bonding

Due to the outbreak, all countries are on lockdown. The purpose of that is to prevent the virus from spreading. So since all people are stuck in their homes, they get to spend more time with their families. It offers them the opportunity to bond and create memories together despite the challenges they experience. The lockdown allows people to appreciate and value the most valuable persons in their lives. Though, I understand that not all individuals seem to look at this as an opportunity. However, the idea of spending time and keeping the family safe and intact is what truly matters at this moment of crisis.

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Healing Earth

Honestly, for sure, some people love the idea of this pandemic lockdown. Not because they benefit from it or anything. But because these people know how important this specific rule is for the benefit of the Earth. Yes, in a short period, the world gets to heal itself. It breathes again, and the clean oceans and clear blue skies are the pieces of evidence. The Earth is somehow free from all the damages that people put it through all these centuries. I guess we can all agree that the reason why the planet is dying is that humans take so much from it. And that even if all humans vanish from the Earth, it should still manage to get by and reborn itself.

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Reflection

One thing great about this lockdown is the opportunity for everyone to reflect on their actions. The lockdown is only part of the safety measures that come from the outbreak. It is merely a consideration that all governments had to take to secure the lives of millions of people. But in a more profound sense, it reminds everyone of the people’s incapability to recognize bad and good decisions. Because if no one tried to ruin the balance of the ecosystem, the world would not suffer from this pandemic. If only other people respect and understand boundaries among other creatures, perhaps people will not be counting infected and dead loved ones.

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Realization

Another aspect we should be thankful for this lockdown is the realization it gives to everybody. This particular moment allows people to see that uncertainty is always one step ahead. Therefore, the importance of preparation is an asset. Yes, no one expected this to happen. But the possibility of this virus infection becoming a pandemic is already visible from the start. Therefore, the mentality of people not doing something because the problem doesn’t require significant importance is not helpful. Perhaps people are used to ignoring small situations and would start to blame everyone when that particular problem gets worse.

See, this lockdown may cause everyone a mental and emotional breakdown, but there is always the good side of everything. Maybe if people focus more on looking at more important things, they might be able to manage their overall wellbeing. So instead of complaining more and more about this pandemic, we might as well we do our best to make life worth living. Yes, there are limitations to that. But we are humans, and we are creative enough to find ways.

Is Photography A Form Of Therapy?

 

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Most mental health institutions are now acknowledging the benefits of photography as a form of therapy. The therapeutic effect brings calmness and healing that benefits a person’s mental condition. It produces a positive change in an individual’s life perception as photography gives a sense of interactive societal involvement.

The type of photography that does not require any professional skills is called therapeutic photography. It allows a person to focus on valuable things in life such as nature, scenery, different objects, technology, the beauty of a person, and a diverse culture. The different ways a person perceives a photographic subject in both inner and outer landscape is essential. The little things captured in the film can become symbolic that an individual can share his appreciation in the various creations of life. Therefore, the more he values what’s around him, the less he can develop a mental health condition.

Appreciating The Beauty Of The World

There is a different perspective that is presented when a person tries to search for the simplicity of the things around him. Since photography is a form of art, the relationship between a photographer and his photo can bring a clear understanding of what he sees in life.

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It Improves Creativity And Self-Expression

The art of photography is useful in maintaining a healthy development. The masterpieces from different forms of life and most valuable objects can give excitement to a person that tries to come up with something fresh and creative out of his ideas.

It Helps In Giving A Person A Different Perspective

Another thing that a person can benefit from photography is the act of being outside. He won’t be able to develop specific mental conditions when he allows himself to go out into the world and explore great things. It will make him appreciate everything that the eye can see.

Photography Also Uplifts A Person’s Spirit

His mindfulness will increase and he becomes more open to what he can expect from the world. The captured photos somehow contribute to making a person feel happy and satisfied. It also helps in lifting one’s spiritual mood. It assists in reconnecting a person’s psychological positivity and self-disciplined behavior.

It Gives Satisfying Happiness

A picture can say a thousand words, and it also gives you a moment to think about the experience you have while taking it. Most people use it as a way of profoundly understanding themselves and knowing the things that genuinely makes them happy. Often, a photo of a loved one can become a good source of happiness.

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It Can Help In Self-Reflection

Photography is often described as a way of self-expression. It can be a source of non-verbal communication that allows both thoughts and feelings to emerge. It helps a person express himself by entering and showing the positive side of his life. It also strengthens a person’s self-esteem and confidence.

Therapeutic photography is indeed a fantastic way to help people get over their problems (especially those who are having issues with mental health conditions). It is a wonderful source of healing and self-rejuvenation.

Here are some words from therapists and counselors:

  • “Think of your treatment plan as a roadmap with identified benchmarks along the way, guiding the therapy process.” – Robyn Huntely, LMFT
  • “There are times that seeking a specialist may be of benefit.” – Joanne Ketch, LPC, LMFT
  • “Kudos to anyone who is going to therapy because they want to break generational patterns of trauma and dysfunction.” – Carolyn Ferreira, PSYD

Find out about therapies you can access online by visiting https://www.betterhelp.com/start/. Here, you can learn more pertaining to several counseling services for a particular mental health issue.

How To Get Over A Breakup

 

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Dr. Gary Brown, PHD, LMFT says “Think about the motion of crossing monkey bars. You’re swinging from bar to bar, still holding on to the last one, while reaching for the next.”

 

You probably have that experience in a relationship when you try so hard to fix the different things between you and your partner and yet you still end up calling it quits. Even if you exert an effort, it will be useless because it will always end up in pain and heartaches. A breakup can cause a lot of complications in both the mental and emotional aspect. So how can you be able to get over it? Here are some uncomplicated trivia that you might want to consider.

 

Stop Communication – Communication is a vital factor that sustains a relationship so deleting your ex’s contact information from your phone and avoiding access to his social media profiles is a good start of moving on. Be brave enough to unfriend, unfollow, and block him from every accessible Internet platform that connects the two of you. Determine a goal of achieving happiness and stay away from containing yourself with so much desire of having constant reminders of your ex.

 

Spend Time With Your Friends – A bad breakup is way too exhausting, but you shouldn’t consider it a reason to stop mingling with your friends. It may sound too good to be true, but your friends actually know what to do when you’re feeling low. Therefore, spending time with them can help you internalize and appreciate things that happened before and after the breakup. You shouldn’t waste time thinking about your sad situation and start hanging out with your friends so you can enjoy life all over again.

 

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Look Back On Yourself – Think about the things that you did before you became dysfunctional after the breakup. You’ll eventually realize that your past relationship has nothing to do with your capabilities at all. In fact, you’ll be able to survive heartaches when you know that you’re the type of person that knows what you want in life. Focus on your hobbies, food, music, sports, and travel adventures. From there, start to remember who you were and get back to that positive and lively person you once were.

 

According to Chandrama Anderson, LMFT, “There’s nothing wrong with moving on if that’s truly what you want to do, but don’t jump to the conclusion that there’s no more hope for your relationship before you try to fix it.”

 

Try To Reflect – It’s okay to think about your ex once in a while, as long as it will not mean anything complicated like an emotional desire to get back with your ex. Instead, let it be merely a reflection that you may use as a guide or situational observation. Your realizations from the past experiences will help you in future decision making as well as guide you in handling a better and more mature future romantic relationships.

 

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Look For A Meaningful Relationship – Meeting another person is not a bad thing. It will only make you aim for a meaningful commitment in the future because you already know what your limits and preferences are when it comes to a romantic relationship. Your heartaches should not be a reason to shut down other people because you might never know what could happen. However, you must allow yourself to heal completely first before trying to enter into a new relationship.

Though the stages of a breakup are somehow different from one person to another, these detailed tips can surely help you in attaining a brighter side of moving on. Don’t let a breakup take control of you and consume you. Always remember that there’s always that one person that is destined for you.

John Kim, LMFT said “Stay in the present and future. Remember, you’ve already put a lot of thought into this and decided to move on.”

Expectation Vs. Reality: Relationship Movies

 

It is incredible to watch some films about romance, especially when you can somehow relate to some of its plots. However, we know that not all scenarios can give us that “oh my gosh” feel. Here are the realities vs. expectations in movies that we often find quite ironic.

 

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The Love At First Bump – We often see romantic films that somehow start with unexpected situations where a man and a woman bumped into each other and suddenly fell in love. Though there might be an instance that they instantly get infatuated with each other, there can never be a secure emotional connection between both of them in an instant. In reality, either the woman will feel awkward while the guy apologizes or vice versa.

 

Saying “I Love You” While Shouting Out Loud – Though a man becomes too expressive, he can never dare to say “I love you” in front of tons of people by shouting it out loud in front of many people. He’ll definitely be an embarrassment even if he’ll probably consider doing it. If he does, it may be because it’s necessary or his woman asks for it.

 

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Staying As Friends After A Toxic Relationship – There’s no way that you and your abusive ex can become friends after a toxic relationship. You wouldn’t want to have any connection with your past when you’re trying to improve your passionate commitment to another person. You don’t let your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend interfere with your present life as you wouldn’t be able to manage the unexpected situations if you let yourself get caught on guard. Once a relationship is destroying your mental and emotional aspects, you will never want that person in your life anymore.

 

Kissing In The Rain – Though it’s pretty romantic, no couple would want to cuddle and kiss in the rain. They’ll probably get inside a house or find shelter first. You don’t feel that emotional need of physical connection when it’s literally cold. Besides, there’s a chance that both of you can get sick. You won’t run in the middle of the rain with your partner only to be able to smooch, right?

 

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Stargazing Without Even Talking To Each Other – Seriously, you’ll definitely find stargazing boring. You might want to spend time with your partner in some ways that both of you can enjoy. You can watch movies, go to the mall, eat at your favorite restaurant, or hang out with friends. There’s no way you’ll waste time stargazing while not having a conversation at all.

 

Long Distance Is Amazing – You’ll unquestionably disagree that LDR is something that can make both of you appreciate each other. In fact, LDR can cause serious complications in your relationship when one or both of you fail to be strong in the commitment. Some of the long-distance relationships are working perfectly okay, though, so you can always give it a benefit of the doubt.

You may see these scenarios as something that is relatable to your personal experience, but they don’t give an assurance that some of the scenes in the movie might even happen to you at all. Besides, you can never really tell how love can precisely hit you.

Changes In The Relationship: 3 Months Vs. 3 Years

Let me start this article by citing a line mentioned by a therapist. According to Heidi McBain, MA, LMFT, LPC, RPT, “A superficial relationship is one that is only on the surface, often just based on looks and if the partners are having fun together.”

 

You probably noticed a lot of changes in your relationship these couple of months or years. Don’t panic because it’s pretty normal. There are some things that both you and your partner will eventually lose interest in doing, but that doesn’t mean that your relationship is falling apart. It simply means you’re getting used to each other that you don’t actually worry about small details anymore. Here are our top humorous picks of those changes in the relationship.

 

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Month Anniversaries

  • 3 Months – You feel the need to celebrate every month that passes by because you think that you’re slowly getting the goal of staying together. You often thought about making it extra special since you’re in the middle of getting to know each other.
  • 3 Years – Well, those simple celebrations will somehow won’t matter. In 3 years of commitment, you probably have a lot of priorities to handle. Besides, you would instead consider spending on a one-time occasion compared to the monthly so-called relationship duties.

 

Sally Connolly, LCSW, LMFT said “Even one person who changes from talking and noting the negative to the positive can change the flavor of the relationship.”

 

Sharing Things

  • 3 Months – In the early stage of the relationship, you have your set of ownership in things. You think that what’s yours should belong to you and what’s his should belong only to himself. It is normal in a relationship because you still have that sense of “positive selfishness” in you.
  • 3 Years – At this point in time, there’s probably nothing that belongs to you alone and most of the things that you have, you probably have shared it with your partner already. The truth is, even your toothbrush has no excuse.

 

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Awkward Things

  • 3 Months – When it comes to those things that you didn’t expect to happen, but happened anyway, you’ll pretty much feel embarrassed that you might pray to the gods for the earth to slowly swallow you whole. There’s no way your partner is allowed to hear you fart. Or in worst cases, he’s forbidden to smell it.
  • 3 Years – The art of sharing that embarrassing moment is present in the relationship. You can burp, sneeze, and fart anytime you want. It won’t matter whether you’ll have that silly face in front of your significant other. Your partner will get used to it anyways. Besides, there’s no greater feeling than releasing those physical torments.

 

Ashley Thorn, LMFT said “Share how you’re feeling. Before assuming the worst, give your partner the opportunity to clarify any miscommunication or to explain their thoughts and feelings”

 

Cuddling

  • 3 Months – Yep, cuddling is a necessity especially at the start of the relationship. You want that moment to focus only on the two of you. You probably left those dishes in the sink only to be able to spend a lot of time hugging and kissing on the couch.
  • 3 years – Priorities matter and cuddling are occasional. There is more stuff to do than waste time sitting on the couch and stare at each other.

 

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Menstrual Periods

  • 3 Months – You might want to show your partner that having a menstrual period is something cute and natural. You try to avoid complaints as much as possible because you thought that it would kind of ruin the day for both you.
  • 3 Years – Everything about your period is toxic. The more your partner tends to act normal, the more significant chance of you getting upset. It will become all about you on those particular days of the month.

Being in a relationship is sometimes joyful and exhausting at the same time. But hey, when you are in love with your partner, you’ll do anything for them. Sides, those changes in the relationship can both make you understand each other and eventually lead you to a more extreme level of commitment.

 

The Relationship Lessons We Learn From Movies

 

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Watching a movie is enjoyable, especially when you can somehow relate to some of its stories. It will make you appreciate how moviemakers present an individual’s life with the use of acting and visual representation. Most of the movies give you an idea of the types of lessons you may learn from having a relationship.

 

A Woman Falls For An Emotionally Unstable Guy – This type of scenario existed in movies even decades ago such as “Pretty Pink (1986),” “Two Weeks Notice (2002),” and “He’s Not Just Into You (2009)”. It represents a man who is somehow unsure about his stand in a commitment and a woman who chose to take the risk. It creates an imbalance because most of the stories depict a man as incapable of handling a relationship and a woman somehow becomes stupid in giving their all to the unworthy guy.

 

Someone Takes It To The Extremes – When everything else in the relationship seems to be so wrong, there’s always a person that will take it to the extreme. From the movie “Jerry Maguire (1996),” “Wedding Crashers (2005),” and “The Family Man (2000),” the goal of the ultimate gesture is to take the person back into their lives no matter what it takes. It somehow represents a relationship that values effort and consistency.

 

The More You Hate, The More You Love Type Of Story – This scenario is frequent in movies such as “She’s All That (1999),” “The Ugly Truth (2009),” and “The Proposal (2009).” These types of movies represent a love story of two people who started to hate each other and ended up loving one another at the end. It somehow supports real stories due to the factors that affect the law of attraction. Both men and women’s conflicted nature gives them an ideal reason to get along.

 

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Cheating Is A Norm – Though a movie happens to show a real-life relationship encounter, cheating has become one of its primary standards. From the film “The Unfaithful Wife (1969),” “Closer (2004),” and “The Other Woman (2014),” these movies somehow teach a lesson that cheating can become one of the major problems of a relationship.

 

Relationships Can Start With A Lie – There’s more than meets the eye when we talk about the relationship and one of the fundamental starts can happen with a lie. Like in most movies, there’s always someone that pretends to be someone they are not in order to get a romantic success. In the end, both will eventually go through the process of reconciliation and move forward on the real journey of passionate commitment. Some examples of the movies are “Never Been Kissed (1999),” “Failure To Launch (2006),” and “You’ve Got Mail (1998).”

 

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A person’s impact on social interaction and relationship, in general, has something to do with the experience you can get from dealing with them. You may see it as something less worthy of your time, but eventually, it will lead you to a relationship that you least expect. The movies may sometimes become out of context, but you’ll positively learn lessons from them.

 

Here is a list of the things that therapists say about relationships:

  • “Dating someone new will make you way more excited about the newness rather than working through your problems (of course).” – Lisa Bahar, LMFT, LPCC
  • “Assumptions sabotage a relationship.” – Ashley Thorn, LMFT
  • “Anxiety in relationships is common. Especially if you are prone to worrying or are with a partner who doesn’t communicate clearly, anxiety will be a part of your relationship, and that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad thing.” –  Alicia H. Clark, PsyD

Community Involvement: The Importance Of Abstinence Before Marriage 

We are living in an era where everything in a relationship is ‘almost’ becoming a norm. People tend to create a rationale for the things that they do. They often consider some practices as new learning and even try to validate an act by enumerating reasons why it should be done.  According to Lisa Bahar, LMFT, LPCC, “Get clear on why you want a relationship, what type of relationship you want, and if this relationships meets those needs.”

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