A good sense of humor is a crucial element of growing through life with happiness in your heart and peace in your mind. These ten practices are simple ways you can rekindle your sense of humor by incorporating laughter into everyday life.
“A sense of humor is a major defense against minor troubles.” – Mignon McLaughlin
Being a “grownup” doesn’t mean letting the weight of the world weigh you down. We can still harness the child within and introduce some humor to our frustrations, disappointments, and the toughest circumstances; the key is laughter.
A sense of humor can get you out of your head and away from your troubles. It can bring levity to life and lift your perspective. It encourages us all to let go of defensiveness, judgments, criticisms, inhibitions, suppressed emotions, and doubts.
Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Having a sense of humor somehow lightens the burdens we must bear, inspires hope, fosters connection with others, and keeps us grounded and grateful.
The following practices can help you develop a stronger sense of humor–a major defense against minor troubles, and one of the strongest proponents of happiness.
10 Ways to Strengthen Your Sense of Humor
A smile is the seed of laughter, and it’s contagious. It’s quite possible to smile for no reason at all, just like it’s possible to laugh without even experiencing a funny event. Look for something that’s in any way pleasing, and practice smiling at life a little bit.
2. Count your blessings.
Write down what you’re grateful for in a journal, make a list, or just take a moment to consider the good things in your life. Seeing the bright side brings you closer to a positive state of mind that’s conducive to laughter.
3. Seek out humor.
Watch a funny movie or a TV show that makes you laugh. Go to a comedy club. Read the funny pages. Spend time with people who make it easier to smile. Move towards laughter and share your own humorous stories with others. Host a game night. Go to a laughing yoga class. Make time for fun activities and anticipate the humor to come.
4. Spend time with children.
Goof off and do something silly; kids are experts in taking things lightly. Just having a conversation with a child is likely to evoke a smile and a laugh from your inner child.
5. Laugh at yourself.
Taking yourself less seriously–sometimes by talking about a time when you took yourself too seriously–is healing in itself. Laugh at yourself in a lighthearted and friendly way, not in a belittling way. Laugh with yourself.
6. Laugh at situations.
Rather than complaining about your circumstances, try to find a glimmer of humor in a negative situation. A purposeful sense of humor helps us uncover the hidden meaning of what’s happening, and enhances our ability to meet negative thoughts with grace.
7. Play with your problems.
Don’t let your problems get the best of you. When you’re confused, anxious, frustrated, or afraid, turn your problems into a game. This allows you to take back control and gives you a precious opportunity to experiment with new solutions. Perceive your problems merely as experiments, assignments, and/or adventures.
Schedule time to have fun with others. Not only does it make life more enjoyable, but it helps you connect with others, feeds your creative side, and gives your brain a break so you can come back to everyday life more more present, refreshed, and ready to solve problems.
9. Surround yourself with positive reminders to lighten up.
Keep funny pictures, or pictures of your family and friends having fun, on your desk at work or around the house. Keep a toy on your desk or in your car. Use magnets, sticky notes, signs, and whatever else you’d like to remind yourself that there is always a bright side.
Find a favorite inspiring quote or positive thought, write them down or print them out, and hang them up somewhere in your life:
- Positive quotes to wake up and live.
- Positive quotes to seek the good in life.
- 30 positive attitude quotes.
- 16 positive thoughts for today.
10. Put things in perspective.
So many things in life are beyond our control. We cannot control the weather, the behavior of other people, or most of the events that happen. Try not to hold the weight of the world on your shoulders; it’s unrealistic, unhealthy, and unnecessary.
Think of problems much worse than yours–even if it’s hard, please try–and try to find some humor in how small some problems really are in comparison to the universe we all live in. And in the presence of tragedy, please remember that you are not alone.
- How do you stay cheerful in difficult situations?
- How do you manage a smile when life gives you so many reasons not to smile?
- How do you incorporate humor into your everyday life, or in trying times?
Please share your own lessons, insights, positive practices, and experiences with me in the comments.
Share this post with friends, family, and anyone who could use a good laugh today.
I agree with Audrey Hepburn: “I love people who make me laugh.”