An old saying has it that if you laugh, the whole world laughs with you, but if you cry, you cry alone. One of the reasons for this saying is that as humans we come together to celebrate joy, but we have difficulty knowing what to do in times of sadness or crisis. Today, we’re going to keep things on the lighter side of life and examine the role of humor and how a good sense of human can keep life more enjoyable.
Have a good sense of humor makes things easier. It’s harder to get mad at everyday irritations when they amuse you instead. For example, if you cat knocks a glass off the table, you might choose to get angry and yell at the cat. However, if you have a good sense of humor, you might find the animal’s antics funny, which can help to diffuse a potentially anger-inducing situation. Heck, you might even film it and turn your cat into a viral video star!
This is a silly everyday example, but it applies in a range of different situations. When you’re in traffic and another driver cuts you off, having a sense of humor about it will keep you safer because you won’t become overwhelmed with anger and descend into road rage. In fact, you might find yourself laughing when that driver races ahead just to get stopped by red light. Finding the joy in moments of potential stress, anxiety, or conflict can help to make these situations more pleasant.
Not only that, but there are health benefits to seeing things from the lighter side. Studies have found that people with a good sense of humor can see improved cardiac health and may experience less depression and fewer signs of stress.
But the benefits of a good sense of humor aren’t confined only to the individual. When you have a good sense of humor and don’t take yourself too seriously, you become more attractive to others. This can help you to develop more and stronger friendships, and even better business relationships. When people like you, it brings social benefits at a variety of levels. For example, well-liked people have larger social networks and greater opportunities to meet new romantic partners. These larger social networks also make it easier to network to find a new job or develop new business opportunities. Studies have also found that having a large number of friends also helps a person to experience less stress and to have a great foundation of social support for times when things get difficult. In other words, your good sense of humor can repay itself many times over.
So how do you develop a good sense of humor? Some might say that we’re born with it, but there are steps you can take right now to help become a more lighthearted individual. The first step is to look for the fun in life. Tell a few jokes. Look for absurd and silly situations and laugh at them. Don’t be afraid to experience joy. The second step is the converse: Avoid taking yourself too seriously. The more important you think yourself, the harder it is to laugh at yourself. Practice humility and remind yourself that you are not the center of the universe. Once you get in the habit of seeing yourself less seriously and self-importantly, you’ll be able to laugh at your own mistakes and the everyday absurdities that make up most of everyday life.
As you can see, humor is important in life, both at the individual and the social level. The more that you can embrace humor, the more enjoyable your life will become. That doesn’t mean that you need to become a comedian or that weird guy at the party who’s always telling corny jokes, but it does mean that you should try to lighten up a little and take a moment to enjoy life.