You exit a public bathroom with a long piece of toilet paper stuck to your shoe. Your daughter delivers a perfect impression of your mother-in-law, not realizing she was standing behind her. Cringe-inducing? Sure. Funny? You bet. And experts say that finding humor in situations like these—and even more super-stressful ones—is often the best way to handle it.
“Humor often emerges as a response to transitions, pain, and tragedy,” explains Mary Kay Morrison, author of Using Humor to Maximize Living and founder of the Humor Academy at the Association for Applied Therapeutic Humor.
“It serves as an invaluable coping response to the complex difficulties that kids face,” Morrison says. “Most people rely on their sense of humor to survive childhood challenges and the increased demands placed on them.”