Don’t you just love it when the universe laughs with you? This morning's Wordle is “humor”. And as I sit down to write about humor I am caught up in reflection. Are you funny? I am not as funny as I used to be. I don’t laugh as much as when I was younger. Is it an age thing or have I stopped allowing myself to spend time on such frivolity? Can you relate to this?
Is there any greater feeling than uncontrollable laughter? I love feeling tickled by a source of amusement. Have you ever cried from laughter? Have you ever laughed so hard you wet yourself? A deep, full-bellied laugh is not just good for us in the moment, but it has long-lasting social and health benefits.
Our sense of humor is not fixed. We can develop this and improve it to bring more fun and laughter into our lives. In this article, we will discuss the benefits, physically and mentally of an active sense of humor. We will also look at ways we can improve our sense of humor.
- A good sense of humor is ranked highly in relationships
- The Impact of laughter on our wellbeing
- 6 easy ways to improve our sense of humor
- Wrapping up
A good sense of humor is ranked highly in relationships
What do you get if you cross a parrot and a millipede? A walkie-talkie!
We all have a different sense of humor and as long as we aren’t laughing at something that’s cruel, immoral, or illegal then there is no “right” sense of humor.
Top tip, if you are currently dating or looking to expand your social circle a sense of humor is key to success.
A good sense of humor is one of the deciding factors when it comes to relationships. This is for both romantic relationships and friendships. We seek to spend time with people who laugh and who make us laugh.
This is a pretty clever strategy. Scientists are still undecided as to why a good sense of humor is ranked so highly. Personally, I think it is part of some sort of survival mode. We benefit from laughter both physically and mentally.
And quite frankly, who wants to spend time with someone with the sense of humor of a rock?
The Impact of laughter on our wellbeing
Before COVID we coughed to disguise a fart. Now we fart to disguise a cough.
Were you aware that regular laughing gives us positive long-term physical and mental benefits? Not only does it leave us buoyant and uplifted in the moment, but it reduces stress and increases our tolerance to pain by up to 10%. Hmmm, I wonder if midwives have ever considered trialing laughter alongside epidurals.
The famous marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge smiles broadly when he runs. As do many athletes. This isn’t a sign that they are relaxed and finding the race easy. Not in the slightest. But it is a technique used to reduce pain. Scientists found that smiling is an effective pain reduction strategy.
But get a load of this. A study by Georgia State University found the incorporation of laughter during workouts had a significant effect on participants. It helped relax and strengthen muscles and improve their mental health.
Right, that’s it. I’m on a mission. If you see some crazed-looking women out running, laughing like a hyena,, then that’s me training for the Olympics!
6 easy ways to improve our sense of humor
So we now know a good sense of humor is essential in our relationships and is also good for our well-being. In fact, laughter and sharing jokes are key ways humans build community. Laughing with someone when we first meet them is a vital part of the bonding process. These reasons alone are enough to motivate us to improve our sense of humor.
Let’s look at 6 simple ways we can improve our sense of humor.
1. Discover your type of humor
If you don’t quite know what makes you laugh, it’s time to do some research. Explore the comedy section on Netflix. Read humor pieces and watch comedy clips. Find new comedians to watch. It is only through exposing yourself to a myriad of different styles of humor that you will find what really makes you laugh.
Maybe it’s candid camera shows. Or perhaps it’s animals being silly. You may find political satire your thing. Alternatively, live improvised comedy might be your calling.
2. Embrace what makes you laugh
Once you have found what makes you laugh, embrace it. It may be a particular comedian. A specific writer. You may like innuendo and amusing smut. Perhaps a particular satire magazine has you creasing yourself. Whatever it is, spend time with it. Enjoy it and relax. Most importantly - make time for it on a daily or weekly basis.
I am watching Afterlife at the moment. I love the humor in it. But each time my partner cackles at it, I laugh with him. The joy I get from hearing my partner laugh is indescribable. And laughing together is beautiful.
3. Learn to play again
Do you remember the hilarity of bouncing in puddles as a kid? Can you recall your silliness and childlike sense of fun? Just because we are adults, doesn’t mean we can’t embrace our inner child.
I still love playing in the river. Splashing about amongst the rocks. Sadly I don’t fit in the swings in the local playpark anymore. But to be honest, even if I did, it’s not socially acceptable to hog the swings from children. But, I do fit on aerial assault courses. I can play at the local wakeboard center. I can squeal with delight as I run down a hill.
Do you recall the sense of fun of bouncy castles? Maybe it’s time to visit your local trampoline center!
Just because we are adults, doesn’t mean the fun stops. Keep playing and shrieking with joy like a child.
4. Don’t take yourself too seriously
All work and no play makes for a very dull person. Laugh at yourself. If you mess up or do something a bit daft. Laugh, ridicule yourself. It’s ok. This will show others around you that you have a sense of fun.
You may hold an incomprehensible amount of responsibility or power in your job. But joviality and laughter is essential for networking and bonding with your staff.
Go forth, embrace that fancy dress party. Make faces at babies and young children. Play light-hearted pranks on your colleagues. Be open to looking stupid and laughing at yourself.
Need more tips on how to learn to laugh at yourself? Check out this article here.
5. Remember laughter is contagious
Surround yourself with people who make you laugh and who laugh themselves. Laughter is contagious. Hysterical laughter is infectious.
I have a fond memory of driving on a country lane with my twin sister. We were bickering about directions. This escalated into a full-on screaming match. Which then progressed into her laughing, which caused me to laugh. Blissful, uncontrollable laughter. We were laughing so hard we had to pull over to try and catch our breath.
6. Build a repertoire
I arranged to meet a date at the gym. When he didn’t show up I knew we wouldn’t work out. Ha ha ha. Did you laugh or groan? I used to tell jokes or funny stories regularly and I just seemed to have lost the habit.
But I vow to return to this. I love making people laugh. But I need a new repertoire.
So, to build a repertoire, notice things around you. If anything funny happens, share it. Write down jokes that make you laugh, and spread this happiness to others.
Share your embarrassing stories. We all love to laugh at others' misfortune - as long as it’s not too bad.
I once dialed the wrong number and before I realized it, I asked to book an appointment for a smear. Only to be told that they were an accountant firm and didn’t offer such a service! Oh, the embarrassment. But I had a good giggle with the lady on the phone.
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I don’t know about you, but I vow to make a concerted effort to laugh more. I am a particularly smiley person. But adulthood has robbed me of my silliness and my laughter. It’s time to change that. Remember, we hold the power to improve our sense of humor. And when we have a good sense of humor other people want to spend time with us. It also helps reduce stress and relax our muscles. Not only that, but laughter helps reduce our perception of pain.
Here’s to laughing and recognizing that all work and no laughter leads to a very dull life. What's your favorite tip on how to improve your better sense of humor? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!