A sense of humor is an important ingredient in the art of living well. Many people "think" they live well, but, in fact, they do not. The reason is that in this competitive world, contemporary living may have become too down-to-earth. Indeed, if one takes life too seriously, there will be little room for any sense of humor. Without a sense of humor, living would become drab, dreary, and even depressing.
What is a sense of humor? A sense of humor is a human perception of any absurdity and incongruity in life—and there are plenty of them. An incident or a situation may not be funny enough to evoke laughter, or it may even be tragic, but an individual having a good sense of humor may be able to elicit laughter out of it. People have their unique perceptions of the same given situation; it is all in the mind—the mind that controls how you think and what you do.
According to the 2006 International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, a sense of humor can significantly improve the survival rate of end-stage renal disease patients by as much as 30 percent, because positive distractions from stressful situations, such as dialysis, may have salutary effects on patients. Another example is Norman Cousins' book Anatomy of an Illness, in which the author successfully battled with his terminal cancer by exposing himself to abundance of humor from movies and comic books.
So, a sense of humor is an important tool in the art of living well. If you wish to be a happy and successful individual, develop a good sense of humor. Life is forever full of problems. A good sense of humor enables you to have a positive outlook on virtually every aspect of your life. Why Make Yourself Crazy?
How do you develop a sense of humor?
(1) Learn to change the way you look at life. Changing your perspective is going back through your entire life, and looking at all the wrong belief systems that you have acquired through different experiences in different stages of your life. Unlearn what you have learned, and tell yourself that they are incorrect.
(2) Learn to laugh at yourself—in particular, your mistakes and weaknesses. Remember, nobody is perfect!
(3) Learn to live in the present. According to Zen (an Oriental way of life) philosophy, living in the present is the only reality in life: the past is bygone, and the future is unknown.
(4) Learn to put a smile on your face, under any circumstance. It helps you develop a sense of humor, and a smile is always contagious to others.
(5) Learn to recall all the things in life that make you happy. When you are in a foul mood, simply recall them to rid your mind of negative or unpleasant thoughts.
A sense of humor can make you younger and healthier for longer: it is the art of living well.