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The Importance of a Good Sense Of Humor & How to Build It

Written by Brian Lee
Ex-chief of product management at Lifehack
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In most advertisements, actors sell products with a big wide smile or a burst of laughter. What’s the result? You buy it because you feel affirmative about it!

A smiling face appears appealing and helps in the product sale. Same way, your sense of humor can produce unintentional lasting effects on your brain and body that makes you positive and aids you in tackling day-to-day tasks.

What Is a Sense of Humor?

A sense of humor is your ability to cherish a joke. Not everyone has the caliber to appreciate the humor. You may have no sense of humor at all.

If it is not gifted, you can develop it because laughter comes in different packages filled with many benefits and you can find the one that suits you the most.

How Can a Good Sense of Humor Change Your Life?

We have all heard the phrase “laughter is the best medicine.” However, very few of us know that this has actually been proven to be very much true. A good sense of humor and the ability to laugh can be beneficial for your health physically, emotionally, and socially. [1]

A good sense of humor produces many benefits to the body, and here are a few:

1. Healthy Blood Vessels

Laughter triggers the dilation or expansion of the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels known as the endothelium. Thus, the blood flow increases and the risk of cardiovascular diseases decreases.[2]

2. Better Emotional Health

Laughter and humor trigger the brain’s emotional and reward centers and lead to the release of happy hormones including dopamine, serotonin, and endorphin.

Dopamine is a chemical that works with brain cells to make you feel more excited, pleasurable, and euphoric. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, helps in regulating feelings of happiness and controls mood. Lastly, endorphins lower stress, elevate mood and ease pain.


Overall, laughter simply boosts your happy emotions.[3]

3. Increased Social Bonding

It has been hypothesized that laughter has been around long before humans began to use speech. Therefore, there are already instinctive social cues humans are aware of in a social situation.

Laughter triggers the endorphins and thus, increases the bonding with the people you share the laughter with. It is found to be beneficial in amplifying social interaction.[4]

4. Decreased Anxiety and Stress

Humor is described as an element of resilience and can allow you to put everyday problems in perspective, increasing your coping capabilities under challenging situations. It moderates the adverse effects of stress on health and promotes a positive mood to cancel out negative emotions.

It helps to see the funny side in adverse situations. Genuine laughter is also contagious, so why not help improve someone’s mood by sharing a laugh with them?[5]


5. Strong Immune System

Stressful experiences in everyday life suppress the immune system, from the simplest situations such as the car not wanting to start, increasing the risk of infectious illness and heart disease. A good sense of humor prevents stress from affecting the immune system, protecting you from disease.

6. Healthier Respiratory System

Laughter provides the fastest and easiest method of regulating breathing and flushing out the lungs. It leads to an immediate increase in heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen consumption.

Enthusiastic prolonged laughter rids the lungs of residual air and replaces it with fresh, oxygen-rich air. In simple terms, it allows you to breathe deeper, improving respiratory health, especially for those with respiratory ailments such as asthma.[6]

It is so effective, in fact, that Laughter Yoga has been developed. Laughter Yoga recharges the body and controls the mental state by regulating the flow of the “life force,” inducing calmness, focus, and energy. [7]


Different Types of Humor and How to Build It

With the release of different chemicals in the body, a peal of good laughter can improve you from outside and within. These proofs are enough to show the importance of a good sense of humor even to someone without a sense of humor. If you are convinced, here are the types of humor to understand your taste better.

1. Laugh-at-Life Humor

This is a specific type of humor that is usually related to not taking life too seriously. If you have this kind of humor, you probably know when to take a deep breath and let stress and anxiety melt away. There’s also a good chance you are the friend people turn to for some positivity and motivation specifically those with no sense of humor.

2. Sarcastic Humor

If you have sarcastic humor, you have a dark, biting sense of humor and you’ve probably been told before that someone found you offensive. Sarcasm is usually associated with being quick-witted, and that can make it dangerous to speak without thinking. When people understand your brand of comedy, you are golden. But when it comes to getting to know people, or wording an important work email, think before you speak/type.

3. Self-Deprecating Humor

This is a lot like laugh-at-life humor, but you are basically always the root of the joke. You like to be the class clown, but too much of it can make people a little uncomfortable. There’s a line between dark and funny and dark and depressing.

5. Witty Humor

Basically, with this humor, your jokes show intelligence. You catch on to the subtle allusions in movies and books and you’re careful to be witty but not a know-it-all.

6. Bathroom Humor

If you have a friend who sends you the poop emoji way too often, that friend has bathroom humor! If it’s gross, gory, or mildly taboo, they think it’s the funniest thing they’ve ever heard. While these kinds of jokes can be hysterical, there’s a time and a place for crude jokes.

7. Healing Humor

This one’s important. This is the kind of laughter that is shared with someone, not aimed at them. When you laugh with others, you release frustration and stress. This can be a transformative experience and so very healing.

8. Dry Humor

Dry humor means having the ability to say something outrageous and funny but in an expressionless, matter-of-fact way.

How To Build Your Sense of Humor

Unfortunately, you can’t just develop a sense of humor overnight, but luckily there’s a good chance you already have one. You may just not know how to allow yourself to laugh. Once you’ve determined your brand of humor, or at the very least believe you think you know what you want it to be, the tips below can help you grow your funny bone and get you giggling.

1. Domino-Effects of Laughing

When you laugh at something, it can sometimes be a domino effect. Allow yourself to laugh at any and everything you want, just avoid cruelty!

2. Actively look for jokes every day!

I know, I know, it sounds like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be. So much humor is all around you if you’re only willing to look for it. If you can force yourself to be actively aware of all the silliness you encounter 24/7, soon you will be able to laugh passively. It’s a good practice even when you show signs you have no sense of humor.

3. Difference Between Being Funny and Having a Sense of Humor

If you’re funny, you can express humor. But if you have a sense of humor, you can laugh with others, too!

4. Take Cues From Those Around You

What makes your family laugh? Your best friend? Try watching moves with all kinds of different humor to determine what makes you smile and laugh. And remember, the idea is to learn from people, not copy them.

5. Practice Self-Love

If you love yourself, you’ll be able to poke fun at yourself. Good-humored individuals embrace all their faults, and even openly laugh about them. If you can accept yourself for all the good and the bad, you’re that much closer to having a great sense of humor. It’s all about practicing self-love.

6. Stay Healthy

Humor is beneficial both physically and emotionally. If you develop a better understanding of humor, you’ll be better at coping with everything from dealing with pain to easing your own stress. Giggling can actually stimulate organs and improve your immune system. Again, it really is the best medicine!

Bottom Line

Your good sense of humor is not a bundle of joy for yourself but also for the people in your surrounding. It is not always important to find a good means of laughter created by others. With little effort, you can create your own reason to laugh to improve your physical and mental health.

Featured photo credit: Brian Lundquist via unsplash.com


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