"Can you come give a talk to our group? We really need a laugh. " So often when I am invited to speak, there is an expectation that I will tell jokes. The truth is that I do not really tell "jokes", although I usually do get quite a bit of laughter from the audience. Why do people think that humor means telling jokes? There seems to be a bit of confusion about what humor really is.
Humergy is first described by me in my book, Using Humor to Maximize Learning
Humergy is the energy that emerges from the joy and optimism of the inner spirit, reflecting a unique personality, and nourishing a healthy mind/body balance.
This term was coined as a response to the confusion that I frequently face about what humor is. A sense of humor can create a remarkable feeling of control. Learning to use humor as the binoculars for life’s challenges can amplify confidence in your own internal power to cope. The optimistic energy that comes from humor will enable you to embrace difficulties with resilience. Some people purposefully use laughter to ease pain and promote physical healing. There is some experimental research indicating that laughter and humor might actually cure illness and provide effective therapies for a number of disorders. Some claim that laughter relieves pain, reduces stress, and improves the immune system response (Harvey, 1998). Although many studies are preliminary, numerous indicators are confirming the benefits and applications of positive humor.
The purposeful use of humor can help you feel more optimistic about your life, knowing that you can choose how to respond to stress. Humor elevates mood and has been known to be a deterrent to depression. Stress reduction is considered one of the most important benefits of humor. A little humor will go a long way in helping us balance the challenges of high-speed living.
So find your humergy. It may be that telling jokes is the way that you do find this quality. For the rest of us, I encourage the purposeful use of humergy practice. My book identfies countless ways for the practice of humergy.
One way is to focus on what makes you laugh and brings you joy? Follow this reflection with purposeful intention to increase the humergy in your life. Let me know what you are going to try. I would love to hear from you!