Laughing at yourself is liberating. Instead of feeling frustrated by your shortcomings or embarrassed about looking foolish, you can experience a little amusement when things go awry.

Plus, seeing your behavior as funny creates a safe space for you to go about the serious business of personal growth. Consider the benefits of lightening up and seizing more opportunities to laugh at yourself each day.

Benefits of Laughing at Yourself

1. Promote healing. Humor takes the sting out of sensitive issues. You can look at your old patterns and learn more constructive responses when you regard yourself with compassion instead of being judgmental.

2. Reduce stress. Trying to impress others or live up to rigid expectations can be exhausting and even undermine your health. Letting go of that tension allows you to relax.

3. Take more risks. Striving towards challenging goals expands your skills and knowledge. You may not succeed on the first try, but you’ll keep drawing closer when you stay cheerful.

4. Increase your energy levels. Laughter is invigorating. Your mind and body get a dynamic workout as you take in more oxygen and pump up your circulation.

5. Enhance your relationships. Trying to prove you’re right strains your interactions with others. Your friends and family will appreciate your company more when you’re flexible.

6. Enjoy free entertainment. Broadway shows and video games are expensive. Laughing at yourself is a bargain.

Easy Opportunities to Laugh at Yourself

1. Learn another language. Studies show that communicating in another language boosts your thinking skills. You may also wind up with some funny stories if you accidentally announce you’re pregnant when you meant to say you’re nervous.

2. Adopt a pet. It’s okay to smile when you find yourself waiting for your cat to finish drinking from the bathroom faucet before you brush your teeth. It’s amazing how animals don’t need any books or classes on how to train humans.

3. Decorate your cubicle. Add a little personality to your work space. Bring in some wind-up toys or black velvet paintings.

4. Dress creatively. Your wardrobe can be whimsical too. You’ll be the only one who knows you’re wearing underwear with funny slogans under your business suit.

5. Visit a thrift shop. If you don’t have anything suitable on hand for creating a new look, it may be time to go shopping. You’re bound to feel more light-hearted once you own a ceramic brooch shaped like a llama.

6. Try a new sport. If you’re used to being envied for your backhand, take a swim instead of playing tennis one morning. You may not recognize your own body when you surprise it with a different way of moving.

7. Hang out with younger colleagues. If you wonder whether you’re funny, make friends with someone from a different generation. Be prepared to explain what work was like in the days before personal computers and mobile phones.

8. Eat something messy. Go ahead and dine on chili dogs and banana splits in public. There are advantages to forgetting about being neat sometimes.

9. Look at old pictures. Your high school yearbook can probably keep you and your children in stitches for hours. Those outdated hairstyles and fashions are worth a second look.

10. Travel solo. Guided tours ensure you’ll order a balanced meal and catch the right bus. On the other hand, your vacation may be more memorable if you sample the local cuisine and venture into an unfamiliar neighborhood.

Build your self-confidence by taking yourself less seriously. Being willing to laugh at yourself gives you the strength you need to push beyond your comfort zone and achieve more.