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Sometimes You Just Need to Laugh at Yourself

Life can be so SERIOUS. We are stressed out from the constant pressure of our jobs and the ever-lurking-threat of being unemployed. The fate of our investments and savings are at the mercy of a fickle financial industry as well as unpredictable and ever-changing laws.  How will we ever manage to save enough to put the kids through school? And retirement – that may sound like a pipe dream – we worry that we may have no choice but to work until we reach the grave.

It is all too easy to get caught up in the stress, the fears, and the general negativity that these thoughts can generate. And who would blame us – we are talking SERIOUS concerns!

Sometimes you just have to be able to laugh at yourself.

Take a step back, take a deep breath, and indulge yourself in a little reality check. Given all of these real concerns and the seriousness of everything, what can we do to get by? Try these on for size.

-       Laugh at yourself – isn’t it a little bit funny that scrunched-up face you make when you are concentrating real hard? Or how your speech speeds up to a frenetic point when you are genuinely excited? Is there somewhere in your archive of pictures maybe one shot with you in a really-in-style-then-but-now-not-so-much-anymore choice in wardrobe? And do I even need to bring up haircuts – what were we thinking? My point here – there should be in our lives ample fuel for laughter simply by viewing ourselves as we really are. Not always serious, not always with-it, not always perfect, but real, living, breathing human beings. If we cannot laugh at ourselves, we have let an overly-serious world beat us. Just say no!

-       Escape to your happy place – a little escape from reality now and then can be just what we need to overcome stress in our life. May I recommend a trip to your “happy place”? First you need to construct your happy place. I suggest building upon a real life location you have visited to recall actual sounds and smells and sensations. Join me on a quick return trip to my happy place – sitting on a sunny beach in Maui I close my eyes to pay attention to the smallest details: my bare toes are wiggling in the warm sand, a slight breeze blows across the beach, the sound of waves approaching and breaking on the sand rhythmically repeats, the slight smell of salt in the air, feeling a light spray of the surf on my face, and around me tiny fiddler crabs dashing in and out of their burrows as their day progresses. I have saved in my mind a moment that I can return to whenever I need to escape from the reality of daily life. What chance does a stressful moment have against this tropical refuge?

-       Don’t worry so much – if we worry about what the future may hold we miss our chance to live in the present moment which is ours to experience. We cannot know what may be in store for us so worrying is not going to help one bit. It is better to focus on what is within our control now and do the best we are capable of. How often do you see a concerned expression on the face of a one year old? But how often do you see anything BUT a serious, worried, stressed-out expression on a CEO? All worrying does is gift you with premature wrinkles.

-       Make someone laugh – at whatever. It does not matter what the context as long as it is not at someone else’s expense. Laughing is truly contagious. It starts with a little smile and broadens as it engages more of the face, ultimately resulting in a carefree, happy, stress-releasing tee-hee or guffaw or deep belly laugh or who knows – we all have our own personal laugh style. I do not believe it is physically possible to not feel good yourself when you are responsible for making someone else laugh – it is simply against the laws of physics!

Sometimes you just need to laugh at yourself. You need to be comfortable enough with yourself and who you are to do so. If it is a particularly difficult day, you may need to retreat first to your personal happy place to recharge and get back on track. Making someone laugh along the way will make both you and the recipient feel better. Not too complicated a formula really and you may like the effect it has on your life. Give it a try – what do you have to lose?

David Bernard is a guest blogger for PickTheBrain. He is the founder of the blog Love Being Retired.

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Related Articles:

It’s All About Attitude: 6 Ways to Stay Positive

How To Find Time For New Habits

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  • Khaled

    I really needed this post today because I was feeling depressed.
    Thanks

  • http://hanofharmony.com The Vizier

    Hi David,

    Laughter is a great way to relax and get rid of stress. It has so many benefits and no side effects that it is essentially a free lunch. Learning to laugh at ourselves and to make others laugh is a great way to get through life. In fact, I always try to make it a point to laugh at least once a day. I also make sure that I have my comedies or good jokes at hand so that I can reach for them if I need a laugh. Nothing brushes away problems and worries like laughter.

    Thank you for sharing this article!

    Irving aka the Vizier

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  • http://lovebeingretired.com LoveBeingRetired

    Khaled we all have those kind of days so hang in there. I recently started another blog effort called GoodNewsAlways.com where I share one piece of good news each day. There is enough bad news inundating our lives but there is also GOOD NEWS. Check it out if you are interested.
    -dave

  • http://mental-freedom.com Chris Ginsburg

    Finding humor in otherwise depressing situations can be THE MOST effective tool in diffusing our negative thought patterns.

  • http://www.2achieveyourgoals.com Dia

    Hi David,

    Laughing really helps us to relax and it puts in a positive and happy mood. It is also good for our health. Thanks for sharing

  • http://richlionhearted.blogspot.com/ Rich Proctor

    I just saw Joel Osteen on television and he reminded me of an an idea that I have heard before, and I thought was relevant to this subject –

    If things are hard, go out and help somebody else. Get your mind off of your own problems and pressures and focus on helping another person deal with their problems and pressures for a little while. Sometimes that act alone can really put our own challenges into the proper perspective and make them much ore manageable.

    Thanks for a great article.

  • http://www.planetnaveen.com Winning Ideas

    Indeed. Laughing at ourselves is the greatest way of telling the world that we are strong and ready to face any challenges. At the same time, laughter does good things to our stress filled life.
    One can also learn to create humor out of ordinary things. A good sense of humor is always great :-)

  • http://twitter.com/Lotto_ResultsUK Paul Evans

    Obama – The world of spirits, drinks and groceries 
    It is the name of an off licence in Zambia. http://worldadventurers.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/western-4_thumb.jpg?w=339&h=599

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Z4YAK6H5LSHVZV2QWWT3GKWT6M hoang

    thanks so much, it’s useful post