When you are struggling with your mental health, it can feel impossible not to take yourself seriously. Your problems may seem serious, and they might actually need attention. The way you are handling them can also make you feel overwhelmed.
It may feel like nothing can help.
Not everything is a joke or funny, however, alleviating pressure through humor can help you to take yourself less seriously.
In a world full of stressors, can you take a moment to laugh at yourself instead?
Humor can be a gateway to humility when you have anxiety, depression, or come from a dysfunctional family.
You are not alone with stress, and there are ways to ease overwhelm.
Here are 5 ways to take yourself less seriously:
1. Stop personalizing.
Most of the time, another person’s actions are not about you. It can be difficult to understand this when actions feel pointed, and someone else’s bad day likely has nothing to do with you.
Read More: “You Aren’t Perfect – Have Compassion For Yourself Anyway”
This type of thinking may stem from codependency, unhealthy boundaries, anxiety, unhealthy relationships, low self-esteem and can be detrimental to your mental health.
It can be an ailment of the ego to think that everyone is thinking about you instead of them. They aren’t.
If someone cuts you off in traffic, they may be in a rush to get somewhere. It is not because of you.
If your boss doesn’t take a moment to pause before giving you criticism, that is likely reflective of their shortcomings, not yours.
This doesn’t mean that all behavior is acceptable, and many times you can let things go rather than harboring resentments.
Humor is a wonderful way to be expressive of your feelings even when you want to cry.
It can be cathartic to burst out in laughter. You can even laugh at the expense of yourself. This can lead to humility.
It is much more enjoyable to surround yourself with people who can laugh at their character defects or defenses.
Think of the difference of “Whoops! There is that pattern again” vs. “I am such an idiot to still be practicing this pattern.”
Lightheartedness can go a long way when you are bumping into yourself.
3. Discover your real identity.
When you can feel confident in your values, identity, and beliefs, you are more likely to take yourself less seriously.
Confidence can be key when it comes to being comfortable in your own skin.
Read More: “5 Ways To Improve Your Emotional Regulation”
Having an internal structure in place can help you to be flexible with your thoughts and feelings.
When you surround yourself with loved ones who also affirm your identity, you can feel safe.
Finding people who love and appreciate you can be before or after you learn to appreciate yourself.
4. Build friendships with people who love you.
If you are around people who don’t love you, it can be really difficult to take yourself less seriously.
In fact, you will likely have a wall or shield to protect yourself from people who don’t feel safe.
Not everyone is going to like you, and that is okay. Let go of people pleasing as you are able so that you can find friends who are supportive of you.
Friendships don’t have to last forever, and boundaries may be different depending on the friendship.
5. Have fun.
If you are having fun, you are likely fun to be around. Having fun can be more of a task than you think, try anyway.
When you do activities that help bring out your inner child, you are likely on a helpful path.
Exploring what you loved to do as a kid can help you to figure out how to have fun as an adult. You may want to color, go on a hike, eat macaroni & cheese, or go to a ballet.
The choice is yours to make.
Taking yourself less seriously can improve your mental health and help you to laugh more. There is no right or wrong way to explore who you are and what you want to become. You may already be there, and that works too.
Staying open minded can be a next step when you take yourself less seriously, and if you are feeling overwhelmed at the possibility, a therapist can help.
You can build a support system at any time, and the first person can be a mental health therapist.
Our clinical team at Denver Metro Counseling have the space to help you explore yourself whether you need support with anxiety, depression, substance use, body image, or something else.