Everyone loves being funny. There’s a rush that comes when someone laughs at your jokes, smiles at what you’re saying, and as they say, “everyone loves a comedian.” And laughing has therapeutic benefits as well. Humor draws people together, erases boundaries, and creates a strong human connection. But what about your daily life, when things don’t always seem funny? What about when your stupid boyfriend dumps you or when you get food poisoning from chicken? You aren’t always going to be at a cocktail party, re-telling the stories of your youth. Let’s be honest. You have like five funny stories and all your friends have heard them already. How can you find humor on an ongoing, daily basis, and keep this trend going? Here are six ways to find the funny.
1. Start Humorous Text Threads
If you have funny friends, start a group text. Be free of judgment and let the humor fly. It’s a wonderful thing to have a thread with close friends that makes you laugh in the middle of a boring day. You can comment on the singers you’ve never heard of who perform at the Grammys, the fact that your parents voted for Trump or the funniest movie you’ve seen. Most of the time my friends just say random things like WHAT IS UP WITH (enter topic of the day) and see what responses fly.
2. Join the Twitter Madness
Following funny people on Twitter can be rewarding. Find really funny people and engage with them, follow them, let them know how much you appreciate their talent. The more people you follow who make you laugh, the more you’ll find scrolling through this social media site enjoyable. And when things get dark and the writer makes you feel uncomfortable or is consistently telling jokes in poor taste, unfollow them. Make sure your feed is truly uplifting and enjoyable.
3. Listen to Stand-Up Comedy
You can find hundreds of short videos—and many Netflix specials—featuring some wonderful comics. Or even better, spring for a live show. There is nothing as vulnerable as watching live stand-up. Comedians expose their heart and soul on the stage. Even if they aren’t always laugh-out-loud funny all the time, it will help you appreciate the humor. Try to listen to new and upcoming comedians and find the voice that really makes you smile. Everyone has a different taste, so find what you love.
4. Create a Culture that Values Humor
There are tons of funny webpages and blogs out there, such as McSweeneys, Cracked, BellaDonna Comedy, and others whose goal is to make you laugh. Books by humorists David Sedaris, Jenny Lawson, Tina Fey, and Jim Gaffigan are easy to get through and can be picked up and put down easily. Absorb this material, but most importantly, share it with friends. Ask them to send you stuff they find hilarious. This is how you create a culture around you that values humor.
5. Dig Deep to Find Humor
We all have horrible seasons in life, where nothing seems funny. And yet, in the midst of the worst times, there can still be something humorous. Laughing at a funeral is probably not appropriate, but sometimes laughing at the post-funeral gathering may be. You might have to dig deep to find the humor in situations where the “funny” isn’t readily apparent. However, if you can master this task (or at least work on it), you can be the one helping light up the darker moments of people’s lives—or even just your own. I mean, on the day of your mother’s open heart surgery, the cat hacked up a hairball and your DRYER CAUGHT ON FIRE? You’re kidding me, right? Watch the movie Steel Magnolias and tell me if there’s not a beautiful juxtaposition of humor and pain woven throughout.
6. Be Silly With Your Kids
They say a captive audience is the best audience, and who’s more captive than your kids? The wonderful thing about children is they find it delightful if you make up songs, walk around talking in a fake British accent, or dance. They don’t walk into the next room and call social services. They don’t roll their eyes and text their friends (see above) like WHAT IS UP WITH THIS GIRL. Use them as a mandatory humor outlet. I mean, if they don’t put up with you, they don’t get dinner. It’s that simple. Allow joy and light to fill your house, and just allow yourself to be silly. Laughter will result, which makes everyone feel safe and happy. Make a point to put laughter into your home.
Laughter is key to a fulfilling life. Nurture it.
Amanda Hill finished her first novel and an adapted screenplay and is currently working out her stress with satire. For more real-life funny from Amanda follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.