Go Forth And Tell Jokes

J.D. V., Editor

My friends and I have a shared document entitled “Stupid School Quotes,” and it’s exactly what it sounds like. A collection of amusing, bizarre, and, if taken out of context, slightly disturbing things that we say in casual conversation that we want to remember for some reason. That reason being, we want to remember and laugh at the conversations we had as teenagers in high school.

With the rollout of vaccines, advertisements can finally stop saying the words “unprecedented times” and we can start to return to normalcy. A return that will surely lead to many comedians and designated “funny friends” to  make as many jokes about 2020 and quarantine as possible. This may seem annoying or warily predictable, but using humor as a way of processing something difficult or coping with overwhelming feelings is actually a good thing. And as we start to leave our houses, a joke, no matter how terrible, can alleviate any leftover stress and anxiety. As long as it’s presented correctly of course. 

There are also physical benefits of laughter. According to an article written by Barbara Field and reviewed by David Susman, PhD, laughter stimulates your lungs, relieves physical tension, releases endorphins and increases heart rate. On a smaller scale, a joke can simply ease tension and lighten the mood.

Laughing is a way of keeping you tethered to the real world when you get stuck in your head. It makes you use your imagination to find the ridiculous, amusing parts of a difficult situation and focus on the positive side of things. For example, if you get a bad grade on one test, think about all the outlandish results that can come from it. Like the world ending because you couldn’t balance equations, World War III starting because you forgot what PEMDAS stood for, or losing your job because you just could not understand Shakespeare. Finding the funny parts of life can reduce negative emotions, increase positive ones, and help you endure whatever comes with a smile. 

If you couldn’t laugh then, hopefully you have a new funny story to share in the future. Mark Twain did say that “humor is tragedy plus time.” Comedy is a way of forming new bonds and strengthening existing ones. Even consuming comedic media can help you see the overall silliness in everyday situations. You can make new inside jokes with your friends from lines in books, movies, or TV shows.

Marilyn Mendoza, PhD, is quoted by Barbara Field for verywellmind.com as saying “Humor has a way of putting everything in perspective and as such, it reduces our fears.” Go forth and send memes, videos, or text posts in your group chats.