We all know a good joke can make one feel good, but humor is rarely considered from a practical perspective (unless you’re stand-up comedian).
However, humor is one of the best mechanisms of dealing with almost every life situation. When used properly, it can boost one’s efficiency and improve social image.
Here are the four ways in which it works.
1. It gives you a critical attitude
When we laugh at something, we often criticize it, albeit unknowingly. To laugh at a joke, you need to understand it and see the funny side in its subject.
Consider random stand-up routine as an example. A comedian works as a surgeon, carefully prosecting every fact or event he wants you to laugh at. You can swear at big politics or war merchants, but true criticism works much better in the form of setups and punchlines.
Apply humor when and where you can. Laughing has a disarming effect.
2. It encourages divergent brainwork
A joke is a chance to see things from a new perspective. Essentially, every joke is an exercise in divergent thinking. For example, a cake in someone’s face is an improper use of confectionery in order to get a STORM of laughs. Some people hate such kind of humor, and it’s completely OK.
What’s important is that joking breeds unpredictable thinking process. You start rewriting the rules and ask weird questions. Some say that these qualities are typical for geniuses.
3. It boosts creativity in problem-solving
One interesting research explored the connection between jokes and creativity. Scientists from Northwestern University asked people to watch videos of various genres, and then engaged them in problem-solving tasks and brainstorming.
Researchers found that groups that watched comedy videos did better in every task compared with groups that were introduced to horrors or quantum electronics lectures.
The mood that humor creates inspires you to think more boldly and notice unexpected connections in the subject matter.
So maybe bosses need to stop stigmatizing workers for watching cat videos at office. They just want to be more productive.
4. It kills anxiety
If you’re able to see the funny side of a problem that worries you, you’ll get a sense of joy that can provide you with a more positive view on the situation.
Death, sexual deviations, terminal diseases are all sources of anxiety. When someone jokes about these issues, it usually means that person is concerned about them.
So if you take a moment to analyze jokes you usually crack, you may reveal some of your own fears and subconscious insecurities. Or you can do the same thing with the person you’re talking with.
Either way, it’s food for thought.
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