Friday, April 9, 2021

Humour Helps you Heal

 #AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter H


If I have to choose one of the traits in  me that I really appreciate, I would definitely choose my sense of humour. Not many realize how humour can release stress and lighten up a grave situation. For me, this was the key to heal. As days went by, sarcasm joined hands as well, especially when I had to deal with dumbness and insensitivity. .I don’t actually crack jokes or poke fun at people, but it is the way I look at things that makes it funny. It comes naturally and I consider this one of the greatest gifts I have received. 

Cancer is no fun, but I have had my share of jokes with cancer, especially managing prosthetics . The first joke I heard about my cancer was from my son. He was going to be 5, and we had initially decided not to tell him about my cancer. When I saw that he was terrified with the confusion of knowing something had happened, but not knowing exactly what it is, I sat him down and explained that I had a lump in my breast and I was going for a surgery to heal. He sighed in relief and said, “Oh that is it!”. Then I explained that one of my breasts will be removed and that was making me sad. He explained like a child would, “Maa that is ok. It is not like you are losing an important part of the body like eyes, hands, or legs which has a purpose. Farheena can drink milk from a bottle”. Looking at his beautiful innocent face, I laughed out loud. Suddenly the situation looked so different from the one when I started the conversation with him. The problem was still there, but how I felt about it had changed a lot. It was like a boulder had been lifted off my chest. He had reframed this negative event in a humorous light way which acted as a filter for negative thoughts which had triggered sadness, fear and frustration in me earlier. I was a different person all of sudden. Then I said to myself, “Hey why not make this a part of my life”.

One of my fondest memories of my Mom is of how she would shake like a jelly and go red in her face and laugh while trying hard not to be too loud whenever I said something funny.

 I have made people around me laugh in the weirdest situation, and the result is always the same - a lightened situation where the storm has dispersed enough to help everyone think clearly. But I am no match for Rayyan whose sense of humour is of another world.

Humour is not a solution to problems, it is just a shield to help us defend against the onslaught. Viktor Frankl aptly said, “I never would have made it if I could not have laughed. It lifted me momentarily out of this horrible situation, just enough to make it livable”. That was exactly how it was for me during my initial days of battling cancer. 

Studies have shown that in addition to working as a mental immune system, humor can actually improve our physical immune system. Laughter  improves cardiovascular health and lowers heart rates, blood pressure, and muscular tension. Keeping the research aside I know it definitely helped me heal both emotionally and physically even when life was unfair.  

Finding humor in the challenges of life can lift your spirit with laughter and help you to deal with difficult experiences in a better way. If you have a funny bone nothing can stop you from having a good laugh everyday - No matter how crappy the day is. Like Gilda Radner said, Cancer is probably the unfunniest thing in the world, but I’m a comedian, and even cancer couldn’t stop me from seeing the humor in what I went through. I can completely relate to her. 

Live to Laugh and Laugh to Live… Be Happy. That is my Mantra for survival over anything. 


An ever smiling face
Is a very beautiful thing
It wins everyone’s grace
And makes every heart sing

Smile gives face a charm
Making it look pretty as dove
Face that is smiling and calm
Above everything else I love

Do not lose any opportunity
When you can win hearts with smile
Smile is a gift to humanity
No animal can ever smile

Ugliest is the face sour
Smiling face is fine
It is prettier than the stars
Prettier than the moon that shines.
Farida Rizwan

At times we do not see the miracle of the smile... the changes it brings about in people. A smile can change the world around us just like dawn. Everything seems so different after the dawn and smile. Above all it is free. Why not make use of it as much as possible?


  1. Beautiful post. I love the quote about the one-horned rhino. Excellent attitude.

  2. It is so important to find the humor in life although more challenging when going through difficult times. Glad your son found a way to make you smile. Weekends In Maine


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