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Why a sense of humor is an essential life skill

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/04/why-humor-is-an-essential-life-skill/

weforum.org

Why a sense of humor is an essential life skill
Studies have shown that a sense of humor can improve your mental and physical health, boost your attractiveness, and improve your leadership skills.

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What Humor Is

What Humor Is

The three major approaches on what humor is and where it comes from:

  • The relief theory claims that laughter and humor are a way to discharge psychic energy.
  • The superiority theory points out why we laugh at other's bad luck; humor is here a way of affirming one's superiority over others.
  • The incongruity theory states that humor appears when two contrasting ideas are blended; here the punchlines are often the result of an accidental, unexpected reversal.

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Humor As A Life Skill

  • Reframing a negative event in an amusing light doesn't allow the negativity to trigger a depressive episode.
  • People who score highly in certain types of humor have better self-esteem, are more positive, have greater self-competency, more control over anxiety, and better performance in social situations.
  • Laughter can boost cardiovascular health and lower heart rates, blood pressure, and muscular tension.

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Types Of Humor

Researchers described four types of humor:

  • Affiliative humor: this is the humor designed to enhance social bonds.
  • Self-enhancing humor: this is similar to having a humorous, playful view of life in general.
  • Aggressive humor: it happens when we are mocking others.
  • Self-defeating humor: this happens when we favor jokes that are self-deprecating.

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Humor: Innate Or A Learnable Trait

There appears to be some genetic component to humor; researchers have linked a sense of humor to certain variants of the 5-HTTLPR gene.

But there's no such thing as a completely humorless individual. If you want to boost your sense of humor, try to look at the funny side of life.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Laughter's Physical Power

Laughter's Physical Power

We learn to laugh at a young age, most at infancy. Being able to laugh during our infancy years helps develop our muscles and upper body strength.

Every time we laugh, it ...

Laughter's Cognitive Power

It's an amazing thing what laughter can do because when we laugh, our brains are actually recognizing the absurdity of a situation. It allows us to take a look at another person's perspective and understand their intentions which can increase the intensity of the current situation.

Most of us have heard "learn to take a joke" once in our lives and to be able to "get" a joke, you need to see the lighter side of things and that other possibilities besides the literal exist.

Laughter's Social Power

We bond with others through many different means and laughter is one of them. We tend to build intimacy with others when we laugh with them and being happy with other people is being able to appreciate your present.

When we bond with laughter we are sharing our feelings and our emotions with others and feel accepted by them instead of feeling rejected or disliked.

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Michael Kerr

In workplaces that encourage people to be themselves--that are less hierarchical and more innovative--people tend..."

Michael Kerr

Why humor is a key to success at work

  • People will enjoy working with you.
  • Humor is a potent stress buster.
  • It is humanizing.
  • It puts others at ease.
  • Ha + ha = aha!  Humor is a key ingredient in creative thinking.
  • It helps build trust.
  • It boosts morale.
  • People who use humor tend to be more approachable.
  • Humor can allow your company to stand out.
  • It can increase productivity.

Humor during a crisis

For ancient Greek philosophers, humor was something that had the potential to undermine authority and the good order.

Today, in democratic societies, those in power are mocked and their p...

The power of laughter

  • Humor, in a way, protects us from life's grim reality. We joke because if we didn't, we'd cry.
  • Humor and laughing are also a social vocalization that includes some and excludes others. Jokes establish who is inside the group and who is not. We laugh with people to belong, and at others to exclude.
  • In our current crises, humor is everywhere because fear is too. Laughter binds us together against a common enemy.

When to joke

Poking fun at the ills of the world is only funny if they are considered benign. No one is making memes about child abuse that may increase during periods of enforced domestic isolation.

Observations about people's behavior can be funny if they poke fun at a social norm in a relatively inoffensive way, such as hoarding toilet paper.