As cliche as it may sound, laughter truly is the best medicine in many cases; when it feels like frustration is the only rational response, taking a step back and seeing the humor in a situation can release the tension of the moment, freeing us up to address the issue from a different angle.
As writer and philosopher Elbert Hubbard famously said, “Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.” Indeed, wisdom delivered with levity can be just the sort of unexpected respite we need from the seriousness that life often demands. These 16 quotes are meant to help you find the fun and playfulness in the everyday, and serve as reminders that it really does pay to approach life with joy.
- Humor is the great thing, the saving thing after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations, and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place. — Mark Twain
- There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do. — Amy Poehler
- It must be around forty, when you’re “over the hill.” I don’t even know what that means and why it’s a bad thing. When I go hiking and I get over the hill, that means I’m past the hard part and there’s a snack in my future. That’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned.
— Ellen DeGeneres
- Don’t take life too seriously and have fun. Don’t waste your time on things that your ego will try and convince you are important.
- Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun.
— Alan Watts
- A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing.
— Laura Ingalls Wilder
- As you proceed through life, following your own path, birds will shit on you. Don’t bother to brush it off. Getting a comedic view of your situation gives you spiritual distance. Having a sense of humor saves you.
— Joseph Campbell
- You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
— Mae West
- Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.
— Oscar Wilde
- We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.
— George Bernard Shaw
- Taking crazy things seriously is a serious waste of time.
— Haruki Murakami
- Mix a little foolishness with your prudence; it’s good to be silly at the right moment.
- I don’t think you should ever take life so serious that you forget to play.
— Taylor Swift
- It’s your outlook on life that counts. If you take yourself lightly and don’t take yourself too seriously, pretty soon you can find the humor in our everyday lives. And sometimes it can be a lifesaver.
— Betty White
- Life goes by fast. Enjoy it. Calm down. It’s all funny.
— Joan Rivers