When appropriate, a sense of humour can be a great tool to cope, feel positive and connect with others. Image courtesy of Stockimages at freedigitalphotos.net
We all possess a sense of humour to some degree. Some people perhaps express this aspect of their personality more than others; some have a more ‘laugh out loud’ humour, others a more developed drier irony.
There are times where it is acceptable or desirable to openly express one’s sense of humour. As well all know, there are other times it would be highly inappropriate.
I thought I might bring up some of the positives of having a sense of humour, or laughing in spite of yourself!
1. A sense of humour can bring some relief to stressful situations, or help feelings of anxiety. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take what’s bothering us seriously. However, it is can be useful to lessen the tension that may interrupt clear and rational thought, and bring balance to our outlook. This in turns enables us to be in a better position to deal with the stressor(s).
2. It can just help us not to take life too seriously. Taking life too seriously is different from dealing with stressors mentioned above. It’s perhaps being able to laugh at yourself if you slip up in a funny way – not in a way that is mean to yourself. Its intention is the opposite – to stop give yourself a break when you perhaps may have chosen to criticise yourself instead.
3. It can be a helpful tool to 'break the ice' when you first meet someone. We can often become rather nervous when we first meet someone, worried about how they will perceive us. If you make light of something simple (and of course non-offensive), it can often help both yourself and the other person relax.
4. Laughing releases endorphins – the ‘feel-good’ chemicals in our brain.
5. It is mostly seen as an attractive quality, when expressed in the appropriate situation and non-offensively. It seems to me that it is more pleasant to be around someone who can laugh good-naturedly rather than being cross and grumpy!
**6. Not only can you help yourself feel good and less stressed, when you laugh, it often helps others get in touch with their sense of humour helping them feel good too. It can be contagious!
7. It can help conflicts to be discussed in a better frame of mind. or at least help take the sting out of it. Of course, the use of humour would have to be used cautiously and only in certain kinds of conflict..it mightn’t solve the problem that caused the disagreement, but it can foster more agreeableness between people with opposing views.
Here’s an interesting ‘laughter fact’ to finish off – did you know it’s impossible to tickle yourself to induce laughter. (If you’re ticklish) only another person tickling you can cause you to laugh!!