7 Ways You Can Stop Taking Everything So Seriously

Don't take yourself so seriously.

It’s a common tendency to take ourselves too seriously. Despite humans being the most powerful creatures in the known universe, we are all flawed. We usually think imperfection is a negative thing, but in reality, it’s liberating.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

No one should expect perfection because it’s impossible.

That’s not to say that we should be careless with everything. But we don’t need to catastrophize every slip-up.

Taking yourself too seriously ages people and steals the joy out of life. It causes unnecessary stress and depression.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.”

— George Bernard Shaw

There are times that you should be serious, but not all the time. Moderation is important. So, even if you think being rigid is a good thing, too much of it isn’t.

So, try the following tips to not to take everything so seriously:

1. If you can’t control it, it’s worthless to take it so seriously

Don't act so seriously and relax.
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

We have no control over how people judge us. Even if you were perfect, there would always be someone who didn’t like you. Therefore, you aren’t improving the situation by worrying about it. So, say “Screw it!” and relax.

So, don’t explode in anger or get offended if someone is gossiping about you. Shrug it off and move on with your day because it doesn’t matter in the end.

2. Take a break from being serious and laugh more

Clip of Monty Python’s “Silly walk” shared by Jeff Sherry on Youtube.

“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

Many smart people enjoy watching mindless, silly TV shows or movies to rest their overworked brains.

For example, Monty Python sketches are ridiculously goofy, but that’s what makes them so delightful!

Furthermore, the cast members are all brilliant. They went to impressive schools like Cambridge and Oxford. Despite their formidable education, they never took themselves too seriously.

“Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans. It is lovely to be silly at the right moment.”

— Horace

It’s refreshing how they embraced the stupidity of reality in their sketches. Especially when they’d dress professionally and act like they were serious while developing the ideal “silly walk.”

Although English humor isn’t for everyone, you can find something out there that will make you laugh.

3. Lighten up


“I am not in a bad mood, this is just me.”

—  Wednesday Addams, ‘The Addams Family’

When I was a little girl, my dad nicknamed me “Spock” (from Star Trek) because I was so logical and unemotional.

Also, my sister called me “Wednesday” from The Adams Family. It was funny because I did look just like her and I was very serious for a little girl. Coincidentally, my husband likes Star Trek, and “Wednesday” was his favorite person from The Addams Family. So, it all worked out in the end.

But, as I got older, I realized life isn’t something we should always take seriously. It’s much better to have fun being silly and carefree at times.

4. Be happy to be here

Dogs don't take things so seriously.
Photo by Luna Lovegood from Pexels

“Don’t take life too seriously! Learn to enjoy yourself and be grateful for all you have.”

— Dia Frampton

No one is entitled to anything, and we won’t live forever. So, why should we always behave so seriously?

We should all take a lesson from our canine companions.

Dogs are always so excited to do anything with the people they love. Almost every day seems like the best day of their lives!

Dogs don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. They’re fully present and just happy to be here. Humans would do well to learn from them.

5. Don’t get offended so easily

Too serious guy offended.
Photo by Ryan Snaadt on Unsplash

“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month. “

— Theodore Roosevelt

Often people blow things out of proportion and get all worked up over the dumbest things. But that all changes if you ever deal with a momentous situation. For example, after surviving near-death experiences, everything else pales in comparison. Even going through challenging times can shift your perspective on life. Afterward, the little things that used to upset or offend you don’t even matter anymore.

Of course, some people become even more serious after a traumatic situation.

Hopefully, you don’t have to experience any trauma to learn that all the petty nonsense is trivial. In the grand scheme of things, none of it matters.

So, let’s say “Karen” is talking trash about you; you can choose to flip out or shrug it off and say whatever. The more you react defensively, the more you fuel the gossip, and it gains momentum and power.

What’s worse is Karen feels pleased to see how much control she has over your emotions.

So, don’t waste a moment analyzing why she would say that or what others might think. If you respond like it doesn’t matter, voila, instantly, it doesn’t matter to anyone else either.

6. Embrace imperfection instead of taking your mistakes so seriously

Don't take your mistakes so seriously.
Photo by SHVETS production from Pexels

“Even if you fall flat on your face, you’re still moving forward. “

— Victor Kiam

Every single human is delightfully flawed. We aren’t supposed to be perfect, so why worry about it? Instead, accept who you are, and don’t get too upset whenever you make mistakes.

Perfectionism can cause so much anxiety that you feel paralyzed. When each step feels monumental, you’ll get intimidated and possibly avoid it.

Besides, not being perfect makes you more relatable. When people openly embrace their flaws, people like them more for it.

But if you let go of discouraging thoughts and take action effortlessly, you’ll succeed.

7. Get out of your head and into the moment

Old man not taking life too seriously.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

“Nothing wastes more energy than worrying. The longer one carries a problem, the heavier it becomes. Don’t take life too seriously. Live a life full of serenity, not of regrets. ”

— Douglas Pagels

How you handle embarrassing moments determines the impact they have on your life. Nothing will be as horrific or fantastic as you think it will be anyway.

When we get caught up in our perceived importance, we deny ourselves happiness. Moreover, it becomes a hindrance to our goals.

So, loosen up by listening to music that makes you relax and feel good. Make it a point to do more fun things and don’t be all work and no play. Or plan an adventure that you and your loved ones will remember forever. That’s what life’s all about anyway.

Girl not being serious.
Photo by Meruyert Gonullu from Pexels

In short, taking everything too seriously can hold you back from achieving what you want. It becomes an obstacle along your journey.

It’s healthy to let go and indulge in our silly side. So, remember it’s to your advantage not to be serious 24/7. It’ll help you live a more enjoyable life and have more fun even while doing tedious things.

Besides, obsessing about something being a certain way almost always backfires. Whereas when you stop taking life so seriously, everything falls into place.

Try it out and see what happens! Share your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe.


About Author

Hi, I'm Sheryl Barnes the writer here at Motivated Progress. I write about productivity, goals, psychology of the mind, and ways to enhance your inner self.

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