Where would we be without at least one good laugh a day? How you ever found yourself cracking up over something ridiculous you did? Or maybe you said something funny at an uncomfortable or awkward moment. We all have the potential to be humorous, but sometimes we're so focused on any embarrassment or humiliation that we hide the gaffe.
Maybe we need to keep a humor journal and record the things that happen to us that we just can't make up. Ironically, self-deprecating humor helps us connect and relate to one another. Much has been written and studied when it comes to the benefits of humor in our lives. Humor is good for our body and our soul. In fact, humor strengthens our immune system, lowers our stress and cortisol levels, and relaxes our muscles. We even can reduce our pain levels and increase endorphins from incorporating humor into our lives. Humor has been found to increase long-term memory retention, diffuse conflict, improve productivity, and cultivate optimism. Our relationships also benefit from humor by creating a greater bond and connection.
The physical and psychological benefits of humor are real and noteworthy. Positive psychology is an area of study that focuses on what makes life most worth living. Psychologist Martin Seligman, one of the founders of this area of study, emphasizes the importance of social connections, physical exercise, spiritual engagement, and maintaining a positive mindset. Do you spend more time watching news programs or shows that make you laugh? Often our fear drives us to tune into media content related to current events, politics, weather storms, or market changes. Of course being informed and educated about these areas is important, yet some of us are obsessed with these issues when in reality we have little control over the outcomes. Should we instead live in denial or repression? No, but let's make a conscious choice to limit our exposure to the relentless negativity through media outlets and instead redirect our attention to positive entertainment or helpful interactions. We can decide to focus our attention on the good attributes of the real people we encounter during our day and focus on making a positive impact on their lives.
Humor can help us put things in perspective and deal with adversity. Humor boosts our overall brain power with the release of serotonin and enhances our ability to solve problems. So what can be done to add humor to your life? For starters, it helps to find the humor in mistakes or unfortunate events that happen in our lives. In addition, maybe we can embrace child like joy again by going down a slide at the park, playing laser tag, go-karts, or just being silly without worrying about others' reactions. When we don't take ourselves too seriously and make fun of our own quirks and foibles, we create a humorous moment. Laughter is one of the best medicines, with no side effects, although it can be addictive. If you're too busy to laugh, you are too busy.