Lightness is not to be taken lightly. It is an invaluable quality in many respects. A light and cheerful disposition saves a person from many troubles, both real and imaginary. The latter usually afflict the nervous types.
Someone with a cheery nature looks at the bright side of situations and people’s character, taking untoward incidents in their stride. For example, if someone accidentally bumps against them, they brush it aside with a smile, whereas a grumpy fellow might erupt, showering epithets such as ‘blind’ and ‘foolish’ on the other person.
A happy turn of mind is also an antidote to fear. In most cases fear is the result of pessimistic thoughts. Gripped by fear, we are paralysed and unable to act decisively, our judgment becomes skewed, and persistent fear holds us back from progressing in life.
Fear vanishes when we change the quality and direction of our thinking. Those with a sunny temperament look at the positive aspect of things and tend to be optimistic, so they are rarely frightened. Ever noticed how young children play with small creatures that make many adults jump out of their skin?
Lightness enables us to face difficulties easily, and when we remain light, those around us respond likewise. Someone who broke a leg joked that only the leg was broken, the soul was still intact.
A little wit and sense of humour helps to easily tide us over the troubles of life. No one likes to fall ill and end up in a hospital; the very thought of it unnerves many people. But some see it as an opportunity to relax — after all you just have to rest while others attend to your needs, and for a change people will ask after you, they say! Having such an attitude eases anxiety and creates hope.
Our physical health also improves. A happy temperament triggers healthy changes in the body, strengthening the immune system, relaxing muscles, and reducing stress hormones. Remaining happy stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals which promote a sense of well-being. Those with a strong sense of humour have been found to live longer. It is not without reason that laughter is called the best medicine.
One of the biggest benefits of being jovial is that it makes our relationships easy. If we dwell on people’s shortcomings, our feelings towards them sour, leading to unpleasant relations and loss of mutual respect. A light nature, on the other hand, helps us laugh off others’ faults and bad behaviour.
A quarrel between a couple ended in mirth when the wife called one of her in-laws a “crocodile”, to which the husband dryly replied, “Saltwater or freshwater?”
Everyone has some good qualities, and if we choose to focus on them, our relations remain healthy, and we can work with them comfortably. Looking at the funny side puts problems into perspective and enables us to move on from confrontations without bitterness or resentment. For example, many workers fear, or are annoyed by an angry boss, but others find his short temper amusing. Their varying perspectives make a huge difference to their relationship with the boss.
Ultimately, lightness makes the soul strong. Happiness is the best nourishment for the soul. One with a merry heart has a continual feast, says the Bible. That is because the quality of our thinking determines our state of mind, and a cheery character naturally produces light thoughts which keep us in good spirits. The aura of lightness around such a person spreads joy wherever they go, earning them blessings effortlessly.
Br Brijmohan from the Daily Guardian