Humour as a Re-visioning Strategy

One of the ways that people make us laugh is through observations that highlight the absurdity of a situation. Example: I want to be unique and different, just like everybody else.

Humour approaches a subject from an unexpected angle; it’s a form of lateral thinking. As such, I’ve found that it can be a powerful tool at times when life is getting me down. Although laughing may be the last thing I feel like doing, I deliberately imagine how my current situation might be seen as funny in the future. Here are 3 ways you can use this method:

1) Imagine telling the story later. Amusing stories are always about the things that went wrong. The more extreme the difficulties, the better the story. Think of each new obstacle as a plot twist in a sitcom.

2) Imagine you are being watched by someone (a fly on the wall, your future self or a guardian angel) who thinks your overreactions are hilarious. It really puts things in perspective when you imagine that your own misery/anger/frustration is unwarranted and ridiculous.

3) If your issue is with a difficult or intimidating person, imagine feeling so unbothered by them that you can laugh at their behaviour with genuine amusement. This is not about revenge (where you imagine the person getting their comeuppance); rather it’s about finding their extreme behaviour funny. You might mentally rehearse a comedic comment, with the potential to actually say it one day, but the main benefit comes from your own mental shift in attitude from powerless to amused.

Important note: these strategies are for yourself only. Never laugh at someone else’s troubles, as it will have the opposite effect.

Stephanie Hills ©

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