The other night, my husband found me in a pretty ridiculous position.
I was in the basement exercising in a sports bra and shorts when I noticed something on my back. I went to the bathroom to look in the mirror, see what it was and take it off, wrapping my arms around my body as if I was cuddling with myself.
That’s when my husband walked in, and I bursted out laughing.
Lesson #19: Learn to Laugh at Yourself
Jonathan didn’t have to say a word. I knew how goofy I looked – half naked hugging myself in the bathroom with the door half shut. Like I said – pretty ridiculous.
I wasn’t always able to laugh at myself. It isn’t easy. However, if you learn to hop on the bandwagon, you’ll experience the benefits of laughing and see that most of the time a friendly joke does more good than harm.
Laughter – “The Best Medicine”
Google it. Countless research and articles preach “Laughter is the best medicine.” Forbes recently wrote about studies that concluded laughter leads to happiness and togetherness, and can even help prevent heart disease.
Clearly, laughter is a healthy activity, but, we don’t have to laugh at ourselves, right? We can just laugh at comedians, cat videos, and strangers when they do silly things.
Sure, but there is a greater benefit of laughing at yourself, and that is…
Laughing at yourself helps you feel more comfortable in your own skin. In an interview with Classpass, Tina B. Tessina, PhD, psychotherapist and author of “How to Be Happy Partners: Working it Out Together”, shared “laughter can help you build a self-awareness that will empower and liberate you.”
“Empower” – What a bold and confident-sounding word. I can think of a ton of everyday situations when feeling empowered is important:
- Taking your driver’s test
- Applying to college
- Interviewing for a job
- A 5am wake-up call for the gym
- That upcoming business presentation you’ve been working on for weeks
- Asking for a raise after you nailed that business presentation
- Saving enough money to put a down payment on a house
- New Year’s Day when you set personal goals for the year ahead
- Doing something for the first time, especially when it’s something you thought you’d never do
And, when you accomplish any or all of these things, you’ll feel…..liberated.
So, the next time you’re the butt of the joke, choose laughter over embarrassment.
If you already know how to laugh at yourself, help a timid friend come out of his or her shell. Be your friend’s laughter mentor.
If you’re already a laughter mentor, well, my hope is you at least got a laugh out my story. After all, the best way to start and end your day is with a smile.