Laughing is arguably one of the best strategies to cheer yourself up. In fact, research tells us that laughter can affect your wellbeing in a positive way. What’s the secret to laughing more, you ask? Simple: cultivate it as a habit by making time for the things that make your soul happy.
This may sound obvious but, as an INFJ, I can attest that laughing in the face of doom doesn’t always come naturally. This type often has recurrent fixating thoughts. So, when something doesn’t go according to plan, we get overwhelmed and start blaming ourselves for the problem rather than laughing it off as ‘one of those things.’
If you are an INFJ looking for ways to add more laughter into your life, this article is for you! Here are 12 ideas to help you laugh more today.
1. Smile (yes, really)
We tend to smile when we’re happy, and a sincere smile often leads to a good, hearty chuckle. In fact, there’s a scientific explanation for this. When you smile, your brain releases dopamine: a ‘feel-good hormone’ associated with pleasurable sensations. One study also suggests that smiling can help you better deal with stress, and reduce your heart rate.
Does this mean you have to carry around a fake smile all the time? No. But next time your mind starts playing tricks on you, take a deep breath, and try cracking a smile. It can function as your daily reminder to relax and not take life too seriously.
2. Allow yourself to be silly
INFJ personalities have Extraverted Feeling as their dominant function. This means we can pass for Extraverts in certain familiar environments, but it also means we can put too much emphasis on what others think of us. Embarrassing situations in public? Our worst nightmare. Trust me, I can still recall all the times I’ve waved back at someone who wasn’t actually waving at me.
To bring a little more laughter into your life, allow yourself to be silly. Reframe a past negative experience by laughing at yourself. It takes the power away from that potentially embarrassing situation, and it allows you to move on feeling lighter. After all, who hasn’t had a socially awkward moment?
3. Let your creativity run wild
Research shows that engaging in daily acts of creativity may influence your general wellbeing. According to a 2018 study, people who are more creative tend to experience a higher number of positive emotions. So, if you want to laugh more, get your creative juices flowing. Try some fun activities, like painting, drawing a caricature, or writing flash fiction.
4. Pick up a funny book
It’s no surprise that many INFJs identify themselves as readers. After all, like other Introverts, INFJs energize by spending time alone with their own thoughts, and reading allows you to do just that.
To infuse a healthy dose of laughter into your day, try picking up a funny book. If you’ve been struggling to focus on reading, choose something lighthearted, or short. Immersing yourself in a good story might be just what you need to decompress and have a laugh.
5. Connect with a friend
Humans are social beings, which means that both Extraverts and Introverts can suffer with isolation. In fact, a 2015 review of studies found that social isolation is associated with dementia.
Other research suggests that we’re happier when we have meaningful conversations with people we love and care about (something INFJs deeply value). So, if you were waiting for a sign to connect with a friend you miss, this is it! Make plans to see each other, or have a little heart-to-heart over the phone.
6. Grab a mic and sing along
Nothing says fun like a good karaoke session! Pick your favorite tune, grab a mic and sing along. Afraid to fly solo? Invite your friends over, and prepare a little karaoke party. The goal here is to have fun, so forget all about trying to sing perfectly and just enjoy yourself.
7. Look up funny memes
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that memes make the internet a better place. Feeling alone in your struggle? Remember that someone else has probably gone through the same thing you’re dealing with and made a meme about it. We all need a little validation now and then, and memes are a great reminder that laughter is the best medicine.
8. Watch your favorite comedy movie/TV show
As much as I love to discover new TV shows, there’s something really comforting about watching old ones, especially when it comes to comedy. What’s more, science shows that watching old favorites might not only make you laugh, but it’s also been shown to reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms. So next time you’re feeling down, revisit a beloved movie or TV show that brings you joy.
9. Surprise someone you love
You might’ve heard the truism: ‘if you want to be happy, make someone else happy’, and science proves there’s some truth in it. Research shows that doing kind things for others can help you feel more content. So tune into your natural Counselor abilities, and surprise someone you love: with a gift, a prank, or just a sincere compliment. You may be surprised by how good it makes you feel.
10. Play with a pet
It’s not only human contact that can give you a happiness boost. According to multiple studies, pets can also be an important source of social support—so go play with them! If you don’t have a furry friend you can count on for giggles, volunteering at a local animal shelter might be a good alternative.
11. Dance like nobody’s watching
You might know that moving your body is good for your physical health, but did you know it can make you happier? According to a 2018 review of studies, people who work out at least once a week tend to be more cheerful than those who never exercise. So get up from your desk and do a quick dance exercise. No rules here, except keeping your body moving!
12. Remember to live (and laugh) like a kid
From paying insurance bills to doing your taxes, the world of adulthood is filled with responsibilities that can leave us feeling anxious. The good news is that living like a kid can help. Kids don’t get stressed because they’re not thinking about the future, they’re living in the now. So next time you need a laugh, take a break and be a child again. Play hide-and-seek, make a fort, eat jam from the jar. Whatever it is, allow yourself to be playful, and enjoy the moment.
The bottom line
As an INFJ, you should learn to take care of your emotional well being, and that can mean adding a little more laughter into your life. Laughing is an important habit to cultivate, as it can help you better deal with the many challenging situations life can throw at you. So, get inspired by our list and go have a laugh!