Laughter is the best medicine – so they say. It cures lulls in our moods, brings us together with others through funny stories, jokes or awkward moments. It even introduces us to strangers. Ever hear a stranger laugh without knowing why and begin cackling out of sheer delight from the contagiousness of it all? I absolutely love these moments!
But how much do you think about laughing at yourself? Laughing at yourself is the ultimate key to learning not to take life so seriously. Laughter is the self-care that comes from within, that keeps us human, that grounds us and allows us to let down our walls. As the adage goes, “we’re our own worse critics,” and there is surely no better way to be gentler with ourselves than to learn to laugh at ourselves!
So, here are a couple of ways you can learn to laugh at yourself.
- Know your weaknesses and don’t take them so seriously. You can’t have strengths in everything, but you also can’t be ashamed of having weaknesses. I know how easy it can be to want to be good at everything so badly, that when you start to fall short of your own expectations, the tendency to get in your head becomes inflamed.
For instance, it’s completely OK to want to be a baker, but have NO natural ability or inclination to know what’s good and what isn’t. Ever seen the show “Nailed It?” These people really don’t mind laughing at their own lack of baking skills! Even better than laughing, these “bakers” get a chance to win $10,000 for being able to put it all out there.
- Be gentle with yourself, being careful to not be self-deprecating. It’s important to remember that while you’re laughing at yourself, you’re not insulting yourself and chipping away at your self-worth. Even though you may lack a talent now, this doesn’t mean you won’t ever be able to reach your goal. Laughing at your weaknesses in the moment is the perfect band aid until you perfect what you’re trying to do.
I remember when I first started cooking, I had to teach myself. It was especially important because I had just moved in with my fiancé and was cooking for someone other than myself. I wanted to be the perfect homemaker so badly and it became super important that I learn to cook well.
There were days I spent literally hours preparing meals that ended up being total fops. There was one time I desperately tried to impress my fiancé with my chicken and cheese casserole, but forgot to put in the cream of mushroom soup. In the end, the dish just tasted dazed and confused. And what’s worse, this happened all the time.
As funny as it is now, I was very hard on myself. And I could’ve given up, Lord knows I wanted to. I especially wanted to give up after all the silent dinners we had where I knew my fiancé was lovingly supporting me by washing each bite down until his plate was clean.
But we began to laugh about it. He laughed at me and I laughed at myself, and it felt so good. We made faces at the food and laughed together. And the best part is, because I didn’t take myself so seriously anymore, I kept going. And turns out, I’m a pretty good cook now (I think).
Take Care of Yourself with Laughter
Self-care is about treating yourself well in the way you deserve. Learning to laugh to yourself is a tool you use to prevent yourself from being too edgy or tense. It shows that you can relax and that you have a healthy view of yourself. No one’s perfect, so just take care of yourself and laugh!