Full-tme RVing and laughter yoga. I never would have dreamed that something so simple is the key to surviving life’s occasional mishaps, challenges and miseries. But recent events in our life have convinced me that laughing on purpose not only gets you through life’s challenges, but helps you thrive in spite of them.
Do this and you can survive anything.
Free Meds, No Side Effects
Full-time RVing is always full of adventure. Most of it can be labeled “good” and a fair amount can be labeled “bad.” Take for instance our recent trailer tire blowout just outside of Austin, Texas on Interstate 35.
It was only our second high speed trailer tire blowout in nine years, but it was a doozy. The front tire blew while traveling at 65 miles per hour but for the first ten seconds we had no idea what occurred. Thankfully a passing motorist was kind enough to drive alongside Jim while her passenger waived her arms frantically to get our attention.
“Uh oh!” he said.
“What?! What?! What?!” I panicked.
With almost a decade of RV towing under his belt, Jim was prepared. Steady and confident, he managed to get us into the far right lane but we were going too fast to catch the next off-ramp. The only place left to stop? The emergency lane.
Twenty miles outside of Austin: blowout!
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. We stopped hyperventilating. Then, like any fit and capable man, Jim tried to jump out of the truck to assess the damage. But I wouldn’t let him: I insisted he allow me to call Coach-Net, our emergency roadside assistance lifesaver. As much as I knew he could change the tire, there was no way I would allow him to do it while traffic whizzed by his head at 80 miles-per-hour.
Reluctantly he gave in. As we waited for Coach-Net to save the day, I fell apart.
“What the hell? Another blowout? Why? What is going on? Are we overweight? What’s wrong with our tires? Are they too old? Did we hit something? Why us? Why us? What the ….”
What made the situation even more emotional was that for the last six months, our biggest goal was to arrive in Austin that week. It was our Tripawds community’s first real exhibit at a prestigious vet conference. While sitting there waiting in frustration for Coach-Net’s mechanic to arrive, my emotions spiraled downward. Anger, blame, sadness, you name it, everything raced through my head and heart until . . . .
Forced. Insane. Laughter. That one little trick saved the day and allowed us to get through a two hour wait for help, then arrive in Austin without the rest of our day or our week turning to crap.
From Cynic to Believer, Laughter Yoga is Powerful Medicine
When our dear friend Dave Berman first became passionate about the health benefits of his laughter yoga practice, my cynicism took over. I thought it was a cult tactic to brainwash humanity into . . . something.
But when Jim started trying laughing on purpose right there on the Interstate, I gave it a whirl. It was that, or whine and cry. We all know what the better choice is.
Lately I’ve tried laughing on purpose so many times that I can no longer deny the health benefits of forced laughter during good times and bad.
Laughter yoga minimizes stress.
Laughter heals, especially when your life is as unpredictable as a full-time Rver’s. For example:
Laughing Eases Pain
In Big Bend I had a bad mountain bike wreck that probably should have sent me to the nearest hospital. While riding home with blood pouring out of my wounds, I laughed for over a mile. At the time I felt like a total lunatic doing so, but later I felt much less pain, anger and blame for my stupid fall.
Laughing Makes Stupid Situations Tolerable
When the campground shooter in Black Gap started pelting the area with ricochets, we could have just packed up and left. But we were there first and wanted to stay longer, so why should we? Instead, every rapid fire bullet was met with insanely purposeful laughter by Jim and I. The result? Our stay wasn’t ruined and we have good stories to tell about it.
Laughing Helps You Thrive Through Calamities.
When you drive like a true full-time RVer, calamities are bound to come your way. From brake disasters to flash flood evacuations, these things are all part of the package. If you can’t cope with an ever-changing environment, just hang up the keys now. Jim and I have managed to survive these episodes, but not always with kindness toward one another. But after laughing on the side of the interstate, we know for certain that laughing on purpose will get us through anything with humor and love intact.
Nobody ever expects bad days. Laughter makes them easier.
Jim usually starts the laughter session first. He’s just better able to flip the switch than me. But once he starts with his lunatic laughter, I can’t help but cave. However, not until I think to myself:
“Stop it you’re crazy!”
“No, I refuse, I hate things right now, that’s so stupid…”
“Oh my God you look like a moron . . . .
I force myself to join in, but when I do, the rest comes easily and naturally. With both of us smiling, laughing and getting on the same page while things fall apart around us, we intuitively know we’ll survive anything. I’m getting better at kickstarting the sessions, and Jim just reminded me that I was the one who started it right there on the interstate.
Try Laughter on Purpose, It Works
A big thank you to Dave, whose wisdom and and enlightenment has helped Jim and I become better human beings since 2002. From the day he point blank told us “I just don’t give a shit” about his life trajectory and decided to Manifest Positivity instead, Dave has enriched our lives in more ways than we can count.
Read Dave’s book and laugh for the health of it!
- Laughter is absolute, healing medicine. Learn more about in Dave’s book (co-written with Kelley Woods), “Laughter for the Health of it.” and on his website.
- Join his Daily Laughers YouTube Channel and his Daily Laughers Facebook Group. Follow Dave Berman on Twitter too.
- Learn even more at the global Laughter Yoga website.
And start laughing your ass off NOW. Life’s too short to sit there and stew in misery, dammit.