6 Reasons To Laugh At Yourself
Laughter is one of the most powerful emotions. It’s a burst of happiness and provides a number of health benefits. But there are still other ways where you can gain more from laughing. That is laughing at your own expense.
Even though your mistakes in the past were bigger at the time, those events can have more comedic twists to them as time moves on. And it’s recalling those kinds of events where cracking a self-deprecating joke could have several benefits for you.
Boosts Emotional Well-Being
A recent study that was published in “Psychology and Individual Differences” found that people who routinely poke fun at themselves tend to have greater levels of emotional well-being:
“In particular, we have observed that a greater tendency to employ self-defeating humor is indicative of high scores in psychological well-being dimensions such as happiness and, to a lesser extent, sociability,”
This is interesting because studies in the past mentioned that this method tends to have negative psychological traits, contributing towards anxiety and lower self-esteem.
This new study reveals that mental health isn’t so black and white and that it’s effects can vary. But according to researchers, it all boils down to context. Similar to how talking to yourself isn’t always a sign of madness and in fact healing what you say matters in talking to yourself. In the case of laughing at yourself it’s all on the how.
By merely being aware of how humour can improve your life and using it in the right situations, you can improve yourself mentally. After all, laughter releases dopamine, boosts blood flow, and strengthens the heart. Furthermore, a good sense of humour means you have increased optimism, and boost your resiliency.
Have More Positive Relationships
Like attracts like and so people enjoy being around other people who are optimistic. It allows us to better express joy and gratitude towards other people. Laughter also releases oxytocin which is a hormone that helps with trust, quickens self-disclosure and is a general social bonding thing.
Laughing at yourself also creates an aspect of authenticity. After all, we’ve all made mistakes in our lives and often these mistakes overlap with others mistakes. It’s generally easy to relate to a self-depricating joke because there are good odds we were there too at one point.
All of these things make bonding with someone easier as we tend to lower our guard around that person and want to learn more about someone.
Being Able To Reframe Challenges
Challenges and stress to me boil down to a matter of mindset. Regardless of what you face along the path, how you view everything makes a difference in how you’ll proceed, and grow. But one thing that we often overlook in our framing of various obstacles is humour. Even during more tense situations, we gravitate towards thinking of a situation critically rather than poking fun at the situation.
But when we laugh at our embarrassment, rather than being threatened or stressed out about it, our nerves are relieved. Of course, you can’t laugh a challenge or a problem away, but because our mind is such a powerful thing, people who avoid this can often inflate a situation to make it seem larger and more intimidating than it actually is.
Laughing allows you to lower the bar so to speak and reduce the stress and pressure associated to something. It allows you to reframe the situation and put you in a better mood to tackle the problem.
It Improves Problem-Solving & Creative Thinking
There have also been studies that found positive emotions stemming from laughing allow us to be more flexible, creative, and more effective at solving problems. This further improves your mindset and how you reframe challenges and obstacles in your life too.
One of the nice things from this is that you don’t need to always be laughing at your own expense to benefit from this. Watching a funny video or sharing jokes with friends or your partner can have the same kind of effect.
Foster Better Self-Compassion
As humans, we try to avoid acknowledging our flaws and limitations — and therefore our mistakes. We try to repress them and say it’s in the past or we try to protect ourselves from it like shifting the blame or coming up with something to lessen the pain.
While these things make us feel good, it doesn’t make it easier for us when pain arrives again. It’s for this reason that self-mockery can be so helpful. It’s a way of acknowledging our flaws and limitations through self-compassion. We’re admitting to ourselves that we’re not perfect beings and therefore we see the world in a different light as well as ourselves.
You Beat Other People To It
Another aspect of poking fun at yourself is that you get the first laugh. There is always a certain joy to the first laugh as you get to take a fact and poke fun at someone else. But if the other person beats you to the punch, it’s not as impactful as it was before.
You also remove the sting concerning the mistakes you made in the past. After all, mistakes happen all the time.