If you’re the first to poke fun at yourself or make yourself the butt of a joke, here’s some good news. Your humor actually benefits your mental health. According to research from the University of Granada, people who make fun of themselves exhibit “greater levels of psychological well-being.”
The study, recently published in the international journal Personality and Individual Differences, found that this type of humor also makes you more likely to suppress anger, but not necessarily manage it well.
Since the study was carried out in Spain, Jorge Torres-Marín, one of the researchers, acknowledged there may be cultural differences, depending on the humor in a particular region, that could change how self-defeating humor affects psychological well-being.
Similarly, a 2011 study found that individuals who exhibit self-defeating humor have a healthy awareness of their own weaknesses and tend to worry less, which makes them less inclined to experience chronic stress. Another study discovered that self-deprecating humor can make you a better leader.
The bottom line is: you don’t need to take yourself too seriously. Emotionally healthy people know how to treat people with respect, to handle challenges and most importantly, to laugh at themselves from time to time.
Read more about the study here.