What Are the Benefits of Humor?
Have you ever wondered about the benefits of humor? When we’re in a good mood, doubts and worries leave our minds and we’re left with a feeling of genuine contentment. Laughter is a mysterious gift we’re all born with.
Although it may seem an uncomplicated topic, the truth is that humor is related to the anthropological roots of human beings and their various manifestations. Humor is in literature, movies, comic books, jokes, cartoons, magic, etc. In the words of Sigmund Freud: “Humor is a means of obtaining pleasure in spite of the distressing effects that interface with it.”
“Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.”
Humor and science
Scientific research on humor began with the development of the human sciences. In fact, Freud himself devoted a few pages to his work Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious. However, psychologists began to study humor only about 30 years ago, and they studied it as human behavior. Until then, the subject had been considered unsound compared to topics such as social psychology or clinical psychology.
On the other hand, we must note that studies, scientific investigations, and theories on humor are in full swing to this day. In fact, there are specific journals dedicated to this topic, such as Humor: International Journal of Humor Research. What’s the reason behind this eagerness to study the science of humor? The answer is clear: humor has numerous benefits. It even has the power to heal us.
“With the fearful strain that is upon me day and night, if I did not laugh, I should die.”
What is humor?
Humor is unpredictable and surprising. According to Ángel Rodríguez Idígoras, enclosing its definition in only a few words would suppose an atrocity. Jardiel Ponciela believes the same thing and that defining humor is like trying to go through the wings of a butterfly with a telephone pole.
Now, what exactly is humor? Humor doesn’t necessarily lead to laughter or smiles. The benefits of humor aren’t just making us chuckle. Actually, it has the power to show us that things can be seen in very different ways. For some reason, humor is able to create a separation from the individual and their routine and encourage them to wander and feel something more than they’re used to.
The benefits of humor on the mind
You may not agree with us, but humor is, in fact, an intellectual activity. Its malfunction can actually alter people’s mental health. Moreover, good mood management can be very valuable in preventing or improving certain mental disorders. Let’s delve a little deeper into the benefits of humor:
“Laughter is the language of the soul.”
Humor teaches people to be less arrogant and more humble
Gordon B. Hinckley once said: “Being humble means recognizing that we are not on earth to see how important we can become, but to see how much difference we can make in the lives of others.” Undoubtedly, humor makes a big difference in the lives of many people every day.
When you use humor, arrogance leaves your sight. You realize that it’s okay to have flaws. All of a sudden, you begin to see what goes on around you instead of only focusing on yourself.
Humor helps find solutions to everyday problems
The benefits of humor are more conspicuous than you may think. Have you ever noticed the power humor has to turn a bad day around? Now, it’s important to know how to take advantage of it. Allow it to make you witty and spontaneous.
Once you do that, it can definitely help you solve certain problems. Through humor, you can find paths that you’d never thought about. Also, when you’re in a good mood, you see everything in a different color. Suddenly, you’re full of optimism and ready to take matters into your own hands.
Humor makes it easier to adapt to change
It’s common to interpret a new situation as ‘threatening’. Because of that, we tend to feel anxious in the face of novelties. Humor can make you communicate with others better. Knowing how to use it can relax you when it comes to telling something important (and perhaps difficult) to someone else, and usually makes the other person more receptive.
Take advantage of humor to present things others hadn’t seen before. We know that buffoons were the only ones who criticized kings in ancient times. Since their role of comic entertainers somewhat protected them, they were allowed to dissent with the palace’s commands.
These are just some of the benefits of humor. Undoubtedly, there are many more. It’s up to you to discover them as you make good use of your sense of humor.
“A good laugh is sunshine in the house.”
-William Makepeace Thackeray-