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Rule #63. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
There are a lot of very serious things happening in the world right now. We, as a society and culture, have a lot of problems that we need to solve, and we can’t agree on how best to do that. As individuals we have problems as well. If nothing else, we have the day to day pressure of paying bills, going to work, and being responsible citizens. It’s serious business, and it can stress you out, wear you down, and burn you out if you’re not careful. But there is something that can help you through the tough times.
Yeah man, that’s good stuff. See, the world is a serious place, and there are lots of things we should take seriously. But we shouldn’t take ourselves seriously.
How often are you laughing?
I try to laugh as much as possible. If something makes me happy, I laugh about it. If something makes me sad, I laugh about it. If something makes me mad, upset, afraid, nervous… I laugh about it. Basically, I believe in laughing about everything. I understand that there are times, places, and situations where it could be disrespectful to crack a joke, and I believe in being polite and respecting others. But taking yourself too seriously isn’t a healthy practice.
There’s truth to the old adage, “laughter is the best medicine.” Research has shown we experience a number of health benefits thanks to laughter, such as:
- Lower blood pressure, which reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack.
- Reduced levels of stress hormones such as cortisol.
- Improved immune system through boosted T-cell activation.
- Reduction in chronic pain by triggering the release of endorphins.
All these health benefits could be yours, all you have to do is laugh! Some studies suggest that laughter can even improve alertness, memory, and creativity. Just as important, laughing is fun. It’s hard work to deal with serious business. It feels a lot better to embrace a little bit of funny business and laugh at things.
So whenever you’re getting stressed, overwhelmed, upset, or sad, find something funny to laugh about. Maybe you pull up a favorite comedy on Netflix or call that goofy friend of yours that can always make you chuckle. If you’re lucky, you’ll have someone like me in your life who will make fart jokes until you’re laughing so hard you can’t speak.
Whatever you do, don’t take yourself too seriously. Life is both long and short; it’s better to enjoy the ride as much as you can.
“Rules for Intrepid Living” is a recurring post suggesting how we might all live more adventurous lives.