How To Use Your Sense of Humor to Improve Your Life
One of the best things about friends is they make you laugh. Laughter helps you build friendships and relationships (how often do we claim we like a boy’s “sense of humor” when we have a crush on him?). But it’s also healthy; it can burn calories, tone muscles, improve circulation (which can help your complexion), lower your blood pressure and make you feel less stressed about things when they go wrong. According to Dr. Louis Franzini, a psychologist at San Diego State University, if you use your humor in the right way, it can help you improve your self-image, get over shyness and become more popular.
It’s All About Me.
When it comes to jokes, say to yourself, “It’s all about me!” If you’re truthful, chances are you remember at least one time when you tried to be funny but you ended up hurting someone’s feelings. This happens to everybody, but if you make a conscious effort not to use your sense of humor to put other people down, but instead focus on what’s funny in your own life, you will make more friends and have more fun.
Keep a Journal.
Keep a journal of everything that makes you laugh: a bumper sticker, a line from a movie or something silly done by your younger sister. If you cracked up, write it down. When you’re having one of those days in which nothing is funny, you can open your journal for a smile boost.
As a teenager, you laugh a lot less then you did when you were younger. If you’re the only one laughing at a joke, you may feel stupid or out of place. It feels risky being the only one who thinks something is funny. But, if you keep laughing you’ll actually have more fun during your school years. Sure, practicing laughing sounds juvenile, but what girl didn’t practice kissing to get better?
Change Your Stories.
Have you ever tried to tell a story that was funny when it happened, but it’s just not funny when it comes out of your mouth? That happens to everyone. Words that have the sound “kuh” or “guh” in them get more laughs than those with all the other sounds in the English language. It’s true. Let’s say you were driving down Main Street when a dog chased a squirrel up a tree. As the dog ran, her owner, Amber, yelled, “You’ve already had your three squirrels for the day.” Simply changing Main Street to something like “Cocker Road” and Amber’s name to something like “Kendra”; will make the story funnier. You’ve already got “squirrel,” so now you’re good to go.
You be the Judge.
Whenever anyone says, “That’s not funny,” ask yourself why they get to be the judge of what you think is funny. Just like with food and clothes, everyone has different tastes in humor. If it’s not mean and you think it’s funny, you’re the judge.
What Makes You Laugh?
Know what makes you laugh and add more of it to your life. If you have a favorite movie or TV show that really turns on your funny bone, make time for it. But more importantly, think about the regular things in life that make you laugh. Did you know that we mostly laugh at stuff that’s not meant to be funny? Playing with your pets, watching people at the mall, sharing time with friends, listening to songs and making up your own lyrics, all these things can turn on the giggles.
If you try these tips, you may find that not only will you laugh more, but your days will be more fun and stress less of a problem.
Mean Humor Versus Healthy Humor
If you’re unsure about the style of humor you use, ask yourself the following question:
Do I need to apologize after cracking the joke?
If you find type A humor funny, try replacing it with something more like type B humor. Have fun!
- Mean Humor
- Good Humor
- Putting others down, especially for things they can’t control such as their physical characteristics
- Poking fun at yourself
- Makes listeners feel bad
- Makes listeners feel good
- Negative and demeaning
- Playful, with a good heart
- Singles out people and makes fun of them
- Is something everyone can share
- DO need to apologize afterwards
- Don’t need to apologize after