Importance of Having a Sense of Humor

November 26, 2020

Importance of Having a Sense of Humor

"A joyful heart is good medicine." In fact, it could be considered one of the best medicines. Studies have shown that a sense of humor can help improve your mental & physical health. The gift of laughter is a powerful tool that can impact various aspects of our life and the best thing is - this medicine is fun & free! So, what exactly is humor? What benefits come from having a sense of humor? And, can it be taught?


What is Humor?

There are three main humor theories: Superiority Theory - claims that we laugh to feel superior, Incongruity Theory - we laugh when something surprisingly causes us to adjust or change our perspective, and Relief Theory - as a means to help dissolve psychological tensions and to reveal suppressed desires.

Studies have also broken down humor into four categories: aggressive, self-defeating, connecting, and self-strengthening humor. The first two type's goal is to belittle and make fun of others or oneself and the latter two is to amuse. So, if you're looking to cultivate a sense of humor, it's important to be aware of what types of humor you want to develop and strive for the right kind of humor. Plus, it's just plain mean to put others down to make yourself feel better. That kind of humor will push others away from us and won't bring lasting joy to our life.


What Are the Benefits?

When you seek out more opportunities for humor and laughter in your life, you can improve your emotional health, relationships, and find greater happiness. A good laugh can help relieve physical tension and stress. Studies have even shown that laughter can help increase immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies which can help boost your immune system. Having a sense of humor and laughing can also trigger the release of endorphins which may help even temporarily relieve pain. During a heated or confrontational situation, sharing a laugh can quickly lighten the mood and diffuse the issue. Laughter and humor can provide physical, mental, and social health benefits. Here's a compilation of a few benefits:


Mental Health:

  • Increases joy & spark in life
  • Relieves stress
  • Eases anxiety
  • Boosts mood
  • Strengthens resilience


Physical Health:

  • Boosts immune system
  • Diminishes pain
  • Reduces stress hormones
  • Relaxes muscles
  • Helps prevent heart disease


Social Health:

  • Improves & strengthens relations
  • Boosts our attractiveness
  • Promotes teamwork
  • Defuses conflicts
  • Promotes Positivity


Can Humor Be Taught?

Well, we all already have our own sense of humor, but not everyone may have a good sense of humor. Some say that having a sense of humor is more due to genetics while others say that it is a learnable trait. Regardless, it never hurts to try to improve your sense of humor. You can try to watch more stand up comedy & funny videos. It's also important to understand your listener's sense of humor, their perspective, because not all respond to what we find funny the same way.

One of the the best ways to start developing a sense of humor is to be able to first laugh at yourself. When you are able to accept your mistakes and share them, any embarrassing story can turn into a hilarious story. If you want to make fun of others, choose to make fun of their strengths, in this way you will be less likely to hurt the feelings of those who are insecure or those who have a high ego. Don't try too hard to find humor in every situation in life, instead try to find humor especially when the situation is frustrating or intense. This is a great way to lighten the mood and relieve tension. We hope these tips help and that you can continue to improve your sense of humor and benefit from all the perks that come with it~