Humor: the solution to all life’s problems


Life is full of challenges and struggles and while no one can choose what challenges they face they can choose how they react to them. Because humor comes as a reaction or commentary to a situation, Humor helps people process their situations in a lighthearted way and gives them an outlet to vent their emotions. All professional or personal problems can be solved with humor. 

When the ¨The Virus Who Shall Not Be Named¨ took effect and forced us into lockdown the class of 2022 was in their sophomore year. As of today most of those students have celebrated their 18th birthday.

They have been enrolled in colleges, refined their resumes, and are counting down the days until they walk across the graduation stage. They were given what seemed like a two week early summer vacation. Which turned into a two year stay-cation where they could enjoy all the pressures of high school without the human interaction or social development. 

While some students choose to mourn the lost time most students choose to make fun of the fact they were living in the apocalypse. They chose to laugh about the pain they were feeling. Even negative jokes allowed students to process the fact they were feeling upset. They made themselves and others react to the situation they were living through, saving them from emotional apathy.

In a paper published last week in Cognition & Emotion, Stanford postdoc Andrea Samson and psychology Professor James Gross asked subjects to improvise jokes – either positive or negative – reinterpreting the photos before reporting their emotions.¨ said Stanford postdoc Andrea Samson, ¨The researchers found that subjects who made any kind of quip benefited, reporting both increases in positive emotions and decreases in negative emotions. But those who were instructed to use positive humor saw the most effect.¨

They used humor to cope with the emotions that they were feeling and help start the healing process. But healing isn’t all that humor can do. Humor helped me during my senior year in journalism.

Joining the Parkdale Paw Print was an unexpected surprise; the journalism class that preceded it was a counselor chosen elective. And students love counselor chosen electives! After all. students love being responsible for a class they had no interest in choosing in the first place.

When I was told to choose my first article, I was at first stumped and afraid. I had had no previous experience in publishing or writing on a deadline. After making jokes about writers block blocking me from passing she came to the conclusion that she should use humor in her writing. 

By monitoring my  progress throughout the year, research found that I met all set deadlines and published all three articles without suffering an abundance of writer’s block. 

I wanted to write about serious topics but I always got stuck on how to write the darn thing! Being able to joke about these topics made it so much easier to write about them.

Not being weighed down with overdue deadlines allowed me to divide my attention to other classes that needed extra attention. Such as a business capstone which was missing assignments about the ethics of business. 

“If you are able to teach people to be more playful, to look at the absurdities of life as humorous, you see some increase in wellbeing,” said Samson.