The Viking Post

Laugh At What You Want

Kimberly Cruz, Staff Writer, Sports Editor

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Depression is a weighing state of mind that drowns you into a seemingly endless body of water where the only thing that resurfaces is a hollow vessel, while sadness is more of a tangible feeling. Both are very real and can be quite difficult to process.


When faced with such complicated and overwhelming emotions we use different mechanisms to cope and defend ourselves. One method that myself and others unconsciously use is humor.


Charlie Chaplin once said, “To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it.”

While laughing is the very heartbeat of comedy, it’s highly subjective and easily manufactured. There are those that prefer a more lighthearted sense of humor while others find themselves laughing at taboo and serious matters, such as race, depression, and political topics. Those who see the humor in these taboos are possibly telling a half-truth of their state of mind.

People who don’t understand dark humor might automatically label someone harshly with words of hatred and ignorance. They could also say that by making light of a serious issue it eliminates the urgency to help those who seriously need professional help.


Know that mental illnesses are a serious thing, but understand that sometimes you just need to laugh at your own. For me, it makes a moment of bad anxiety or depression less intense. It allows me to step back and see that the voices of doubt are lying.


Ursula Beermann of the University of California, Berkeley, and Willibald Ruch of the University of Zurich studied 70 psychology students to determine their ability to laugh at themselves. They found that being able to laugh at oneself is not only a distinct trait, but is also linked with having a positive personality and may be the foundation for a good sense of humor.

Laughter can help in different ways. Studies at Loma Linda University have shown that people can heal by knowing how to laugh. The researchers found that beta endorphins, which alleviates depression, and human growth hormones that help with immunity would increase 27 and 87 percent when volunteers watched humorous videos.


A healthy dose of humour and self-awareness can help shield you from an awful lot of evils, by mentally making you stronger and preparing you for the worst. Also, humor can be used positively by not taking oneself overly seriously and making light of one’s faults and errors in a self-accepting manner.  

Even if you don’t understand the humor in offensive or self-deprecating comedy there’s no reason to shun those who find it to be funny if it can help them cope with traumas in their personal life or help their body physically. Also, just because they find it to be funny it doesn’t dictate their beliefs.
“If I had no sense of humor, I should long ago have committed suicide.” – Mohandas K. Gandhi.

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Laugh At What You Want