I recently participated in a webinar on “Humor Therapy” during which a cancer patient shared how he used humor to get through his bone marrow transplant and treatment. He stated that humor & laughter are contagious. That struck me, especially at this time where the entire world is focused on something else highly contagious COVID-19.
This past week the novel Coronavirus found it’s way into my home. Fear and guilt instantly struck me as I worried who I unknowingly could have shared this horrific virus with. I was quickly reminded that I couldn’t undo the impact of the virus on myself or the ripple effect to others. However, I realized I could focus on other small, simple acts or principles that could also make a deep and long lasting ripple effect. Both humor and kindness once shared can become contagious and infective.
When my husband was recovering from his own stem cell transplant a friend began texting him a joke every few days. This brought much needed comic relief and became a highlight, to his days. Infusing laughter into his life when his situation felt heavy, brightened a challenging time for him.
This time of physical distancing can be lonely and isolating. Reaching out to share a funny story, movie or joke with a friend can truly brighten their day.
Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl said
“It is well known that humor, more than anything else in the human make up, can afford an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds.”
According to researcher Simone Schnall (Schnall, s. Et al. 2010) kindness truly is contagious. “When you feel this sense of moral ‘elevation’ not only do you say you want to be a better person and help others…but you actually do when the opportunity presents itself” says Simone. Schnall’s study applies the knowledge that human nature is inherently good.
When we extend ourselves to do something nice for another we forget about ourselves and our own problems become less significant.
We each, no matter what our circumstance can focus on sharing things we want to spread to others and create a positive contagion of kindness and laughter. Whether facing our current pandemic or a diagnosis of myeloma we could all use a bit more laughter and kindness in our lives and homes.
If you desire to give of yourself consider becoming a Myeloma Coach to share your myeloma experience and insight with others. If you find yourself overwhelmed, scared, discouraged or feeling isolated please reach out and connect with a Myeloma Coach- we believe no one should have to face myeloma alone.
about the author
Rozalynn Hite is the Myeloma Coach Director and wife of myeloma patient Richard Hite. Rozalynn is an occupational therapist and mother of three beautiful children.