A sense of humor can be a person’s greatest asset. This skill can help you interact easily with others, improve your health, and even help diffuse difficult situations. What’s not often understood is that you don’t have to be funny to have a sense of humor, you just have to learn to see the lighter side of things.
1. Identify the benefits of humor. A sense of humor is an attitude you adopt that allows you to find humor in both positive and negative situations. A sense of humor may reduce stress and anxiety, as well as increase coping abilities and self-esteem.
There are physical, cognitive, emotional, and social benefits of humor, which include: reduced pain and stress, increased mood and creativity, increased friendliness, and happier relationships with others.
2. Recognize the difference between being funny and having a sense of humor. Being funny means being able to express humor: perhaps telling a laugh-filled story, a witty pun, or a well-timed joke. Having a sense of humor means having the ability to let go and not take everything so seriously, and being able to laugh at—or at least see the humor in—life’s absurdities.
3. Find your funny bone. What makes you laugh? What things make you smile and lighten up? This is one way to start helping your sense of humor. There are various types of humor, such as bonding humor and laughing-at-life humor.
4. Watch and learn. If you’re not sure how to laugh or have a sense of humor about things, watch other people. How do your friends and family laugh at the world around them and the things that happen to them?
- Try watching movies with varied humor, including films with Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Kristen Wiig, Steve Martin, or Chevy Chase. Watch comedy classics, such as Meet the Parents, Young Frankenstein, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Blazing Saddles, Trading Places, Finding Nemo, and Bridesmaids.
- Be careful to observe other people, but don’t just copy their humor. True humor is genuine and reflects your personality
5. Focus more on having fun than being funny. Having a sense of humor helps you have fun despite what life throws at you. That means you can laugh at life and poke fun at your situation. Remember to keep focused on having fun.