Monday Mood News: Why Laughing At Yourself Can Lead to Better Mental Health

July 31, 2017

Being self-conscious is incredibly easy in our hyperconnected, hyper-critical world today: between social media and general conversation everyone feels they have to right to be judge and jury of everyone else, and mistakes are intensely public these days. You could walk around every day in great fear of making mistakes…or, you could learn to laugh them off and enjoy a mental health boost.

According to an NBC News article, a recent study found individuals who could laugh at themselves enjoyed “fewer signs of fake smiles or negative emotion.” The article references a 2011 Time study which examined individuals’ reactions to their funhouse mirror reflections. It appears the ability to not take yourself too seriously not only helps bring levity to life, but it also tends to ensure another benefit: the acknowledgment that we are not, in fact, the center of the Universe.

The article is interesting, and it raises a benefit that most of us don’t consider when we’re living in fear of public (or private) scrutiny: while Life should be taken seriously, it should also be taken with heavy doses of levity. Not every situation is life or death, and sometimes it helps to step outside yourself, take a realistic look at life, and laugh at how sometimes ridiculous it can be. It can definitely boost your mood and, over time, could help you take each day with more joy, more hope, and a lot more grace.