05 Nov Improve your mental health by laughing at yourself!
Happiness is about enjoying positive times and positive emotions…
… happiness is also about accepting and managing negative life events and distressing emotions.
This brings together the positive psychology of thriving and flourishing, along with the more traditional psychology of mental health (and ill-health) – academic domains that should be seen as complimentary and able to be integrated rather than mutually exclusive or opposing.
Most of my writings (and presentations) focus predominately on the former; the positive psychology of being our best. The science of happiness and wellbeing. But as regular readers would well be aware, I’m also very passionate about helping increase awareness of mental ill-health, smashing the stigma associated with it AND helping those who experience it to manage and life better.
Which is what today’s musings are about; enhancing mental health.
Now this is a topic that would require tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of words to cover comprehensively; so I won’t even attempt a full dissertation. Instead, I intend to focus on one strategy; and one strategy that’s too often overlooked.
To what am I referring?
Well, it’s the ability to laugh at ourselves! That’s right, humour and self-deprecation and not taking ourselves too seriously are all super-useful strategies too many of us too often overlook … probably because we’re taking life too seriously.
How does this help? There are numerous explanations but one of the more compelling is that humour essentially helps us see things from a different perspective; more often than not, a lighter or less serious and hopefully more helpful perspective. Notably, something very similar is at the heart of all contemporary psychological therapies, especially the cognitive-behavioural approaches and including acceptance commitment therapies.
So find a way to laugh at yourself; especially at your stressors and troubles. Seeing some things as silly might secure a path towards resilience and even happiness.
…So that’s today’s mailing. Take some time to reflect upon the message and how it might apply to you. Check out, also, the links below for some additional readings and resources.
I hope it helps you enjoy some more happiness. Until next time…
Keep well & keep smiling
Tim Sharp (aka Dr Happy)