Laughter as medicine
CLAIRE TURNER

CLAIRE TURNER

“April Fools!” Can you laugh at yourself?

Traditionally, April Fools Day is about playing practical jokes on other people, but what if we chose today to laugh at ourselves instead?

I certainly took myself way too seriously in my youth, but I’ve reached an age now when I can have a good old belly laugh at my failings. Thought I’d share one with you now to help you do the same.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband was on a golf trip for the weekend. Relishing my time alone I decided to start my day with stretches and meditation (bear with me – it gets better), followed by a walk up and over the local headlands.

Following the recent local floods, I underestimated the unstable ground beneath my feet and slipped on a 45 degree hill, creating a Claire sized landslide, eventually grinding to a halt with mud in my teeth (how?!) in front of a group of people drinking their coffee outside the surf club cafe.

I genuinely cracked up laughing and shouted, “That was fun!”, wishing someone had videoed it. What a waste! Apart from being the highlight of their morning of course.

That was only the start of my walk, but no matter how muddy and wet I was, I cackled to myself all the way home – especially as my meditation had been about letting go of the limiting belief that I’m clumsy. TRUTH! 🙂

What about you?…

💜 What have you done recently that you can laugh at yourself about?

“Why would I want to do that?”, you might ask

Maybe you’re reading this thinking that, “Life’s hard enough without me pointing out my own faults!”

Well, science backs me up. Clinical studies suggest that people who regularly poke fun at themselves exhibit greater levels of emotional well-being. 

But there’s an important definition to notice in the moment that you laugh at yourself: 

💜 Do you have adequate self-worth that you can genuinely laugh at yourself because none of us are perfect and it was just so damn funny

Or…

💜 Are you using self-ridicule as an attempt at hiding insecurity?

The first is healthy, the second isn’t very. 

As long as it’s for the right reasons, laughing at ourselves releases dopamine, increases blood flow, and strengthens the heart.

In addition, a good sense of humour leads to increased optimism, which in turn, boosts our ability to be resilient under pressure and in the face of failures – which we all know are the very best way to learn!

My learning: I’m willing to accept that ‘agility’ isn’t at the top of my list of strengths.