The Harrogate-born 26-year-old only finished seventh alongside Dan Goodfellow in the 3m springboard event, the title he won in Brazil with Chris Mears.
In 2016, he also won silver in the individual event, and the possibility of a repeat is still on after Laugher qualified for the semi-finals on Monday morning in sixth spot.
“It was fine," the former Ripon Grammar School pupil said.
"Today was just about making it through to the next round and tomorrow morning will be the exact same story. It’s just about surviving.
“You see a lot of good divers and experienced divers crashing out this afternoon and you’ve seen it all over the Olympics. It’s been a very strange year, very little preparation time leading into this Olympic Games with a lot of pressure from a lot of places.
“So, I’m really happy to make it through and hopefully I’ll continue the okay form leading into tomorrow and give it my best shot in the final.”
A total of 18 divers made it through to the semi-finals, but both European silver-medallist Nikita Shleikher and 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Patrick Hausding missed out.
Laugher will go again in the semi-finals on Tuesday morning, hoping to earn a spot in the top-12 and the afternoon’s final.
And while he would have hoped for a better showing in the synchro event, Laugher is relatively satisfied with his form heading into a decisive day.
He added: “I’m just very happy that I’m in an okay place currently, mentally and physically and hoping to give it my best shot tomorrow.
“With my individual performance in the synchro, I was ok with it. It showed good signs leading into this competition and it really gave me an insight into how my mindset would be during this competition.
“It gave me an insight into how I would feel mentally and emotionally. I think it was a good tester for this event.
"I would have hoped it would have gone better and I was never treating it purely as a test event, we really want to try and go there and do our best performance but it taught me a lot of lessons and I’m very grateful that I managed to do that event.”
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