How to learn to laugh at yourself
By Mahika Panditha
Heard the saying “laughter is the best medicine”? Sometimes, that laughter needs to be directed at yourself. I have recently been asked to recall some embarrassing stories of myself, however it has been slightly difficult to do so. I am not too sure whether it is because I simply blocked those memories out or if the incidents that are supposedly embarrassing are situations I have just found myself laughing at – but it is most likely the latter. I genuinely think it is because over the years, there is only so much you can really feel embarrassed about. Every single person you know, and every single person you will meet has gone through something that embarrasses them. However, is it really worth getting worked up about?
It is very easy to get caught up in the opinions of others, especially with the use of social media these days. You may find yourself obsessing over the smallest things – how you said a word, how you reacted to a situation, how you behaved in front of some new people; the list is endless. It is very easy to become aggravated at the slightest error when we are focusing on what could have been or what should have been. Think of it as something similar to an invisible paperweight laying on your head; a constant reminder that you could have been a bit better in whatever situation you were in.
Now, the question remains. Why? Why are you bothered? Days go on, nights pass, you will forget, so will everyone else. It is a very gruelling process to become extremely self-aware in regards to laughing at yourself, but it is definitely worth the effort. Everyone has or has had a tendency to overanalyse and ponder different situations, but it does not necessarily have to be that way. Make a conscious effort to laugh at yourself every once in a while. Walked into a door? Laugh it off. Mispronounced something? Laugh it off. I understand those were two very random examples, but I have most definitely experienced both.
Anyways, take it from someone who makes a fool of herself quite often, if not always, it is much easier to laugh at your mistakes instead of holding onto them. You are only torturing yourself. Here are some steps to try out when you are learning to laugh at yourself.
- Who you are vs. who you want to be: I do not know if it is just me who feels this way, but our culture is such that there is a certain idea of who we “should be”. In other words, there is a very rigid box that we must fit into in terms of how we carry ourselves, behave, and whatnot. Yes, of course, there are certain things we should keep in mind but not to the extent where you do not give yourself the break to take life a little freely. It can make it very difficult to take things easily if you are constantly feeling like you have to live up to expectations. Give yourself a break and just be yourself.
- Be kind to yourself: Very basic, very cliché, I know. You have to understand that you are probably your harshest critic. We often can find that we beat ourselves up, and thus demand ridiculous things in small amounts of time to compensate for a mistake. To laugh at yourself, you need to be kind to yourself. Understand that we are all human. We all make mistakes, we all do things that might not exactly be the best but hey, what is life without a little bit of spice? In this case, the spice is all of the things you think are terrible – but look at them as opportunities to grow.
- Count on yourself: Following my last point, you are your own best friend. Sometimes you will not feel like it, sometimes you will have fights with yourself. Nevertheless, the support that you provide yourself with is unlike any other support you receive from anybody else – whether that is a friend or family member. Motivate yourself and appreciate yourself the same way you would a friend. When you support yourself, there is an insane shift in your inner energy. You will feel less emotionally distressed, and feel a little more balanced. This will inevitably lead you to enjoy your daily life more often.
PHOTOS Pinterest, NYTimes, The Tattooed Buddha, Improvert, Reflect and Refresh