If your life is a bumpy road and you are the vehicle traveling on that road, then your sense of humor is the shock-absorber that would help you on this journey. Humor makes it easy for us to deal with uncomfortable situations that are hard to deal with otherwise.
Humans developed this unique quality much later in the timeline of evolution. Interestingly, laughter is what helped us to develop our gift of the gab.1 Anthropologists believe that the purpose of humor primarily is to act as ‘social glue’ as humor often arises from non-humorous social settings. It allows you to laugh with others and form a bond in awkward situations. And as humor is deeply connected to your intellect, it can reveal quite a bit about your internal mechanisms and character as well. Read on to find out more.
This is not a hard one to guess because your ability to conceptualize humor in daily life is directly related to your intelligence. Processing humor is not a simple task. It requires complex thinking and multi-layered understanding of situations. To see humor in a bland situation requires imagination and context building. So, the next time someone calls you ‘funny’, don’t just feel good; feel smart too.
Anthropologists also believe that dark humor is a testament to higher intelligence. Surprised?
Well, dark humor employs humor to treat tragic and grotesque events like death, disease, discrimination with amusement. Dark humor allows you to see a tragedy with a pinch of salt. And individuals who understand and produce that kind of humor are believed to be highly intelligent.2 I bet now you will have new found respect for the makers of Family Guy and South Park. Amused much?
Your sense of humor is also proof that you are creative. Don’t be surprised because both your sense of humor and creativity is connected to your ability to imagine and create. Scientists have found that funny people tend to score more on the creativity scale.3 Creativity, sense of humor, and intelligence are all inter-connected because they all come from your cognitive ability to comprehend.
Your ability to come up with witty one-liners that keeps people in splits is proof that your wonderful mind can create a lot more than just funny one-liners.
Funny people are often gifted with astute observation and an ability to introspect. This is the reason why it is easier for them to see the humor in unusual situations, even when the joke is on them. The ability to laugh at oneself comes from a place of self-acceptance. Because you must be able to accept your short-comings before you can laugh about it with others.
It is only when you stop taking yourself so seriously, you will see how funny life can be. Still not convinced? Ask Amy Schumer.
4. Ability To Cope With Stress
Your hectic life, deadlines, relationship woes only add to your everyday stress. But it is a little easier to deal with all that stress when you can take things lightly. And that often comes from your ability to laugh in the face of adversities.
Scientists have found that humor can abate the effects of stress and even anxiety. Interestingly, this effect was found to be more prevalent among men in some cases. But largely, the effect of humor on stress remains the same for both genders.4 So, the next time you feel worried, try to keep your ‘funny side up’.
5. Psychological Health
Yes, your sense of humor is an indicator of your psychological health. A study has found the connection between the two by conducting a survey that looks into the various aspects of humor, contact with nature, and its effects on psychological well-being.
Scientists found that a person’s ability to appreciate humor is a big defining factor when it comes to emotional well-being. But overall, sense of humor is responsible for personal development.5 So, laugh away for a better and more wholesome life.
Intrigued? Yes, your sense of humor might be the reason why you have good immunity. Scientists believe that sense of humor has a positive effect on the immune system. They found that laughter can increase the activity of some of your immune cells.6 Researchers have also found humor to have a positive effect on pain tolerance, immunity, and self-reported illnesses.7 But more research needs to be done before broader claims can be made regarding this.
True or not, laughter can definitely affect your mood and thus, perhaps even your body in some way. So, laugh away to good health.
7. Satisfaction In Life
Humor can help you to cope with life better in general as it allows you to see the humor in all situations, good or bad. Researchers have found the same from a survey that they conducted with elderly individuals. Elderly individuals confessed to being happier and more accommodating in life due to their humor. Also, it allowed them to cope better with their pain and tragedies.8 Overall satisfaction seems to be higher for individuals who can accept life with a dash of humor.
So, allow your sense of humor to absorb the shock of the bumpy road called life.
|↑1||Provine, Robert R. “Laughing, tickling, and the evolution of speech and self.” Current Directions in Psychological Science 13, no. 6 (2004): 215-218.|
|↑2||Willinger, Ulrike, Andreas Hergovich, Michaela Schmoeger, Matthias Deckert, Susanne Stoettner, Iris Bunda, Andrea Witting et al. “Cognitive and emotional demands of black humour processing: the role of intelligence, aggressiveness and mood.” Cognitive processing 18, no. 2 (2017): 159-167.|
|↑3||Hauck, William E., and John W. Thomas. “The relationship of humor to intelligence, creativity, and intentional and incidental learning.” The journal of experimental education 40, no. 4 (1972): 52-55.|
|↑4||Abel, Millicent H. “Interaction of humor and gender in moderating relationships between stress and outcomes.” The Journal of psychology 132, no. 3 (1998): 267-276.|
|↑5||Herzog, Thomas R., and Sarah J. Strevey. “Contact with nature, sense of humor, and psychological well-being.” Environment and Behavior 40, no. 6 (2008): 747-776.|
|↑6||Bennett, Mary Payne, and Cecile Lengacher. “Humor and laughter may influence health IV. humor and immune function.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 6, no. 2 (2009): 159-164.|
|↑7||Martin, Rod A. “Humor, laughter, and physical health: methodological issues and research findings.” Psychological bulletin 127, no. 4 (2001): 504.|
|↑8||Bethea, Lisa Sparks. “The function of humor within the lives of older adults.” Communication Quarterly49, no. 1 (2001): QR49.|