Monday, June 4, 2012

Becoming a Humor Being

“Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground.”

In a nutshell, humor is a fundamental and integral core of our cognitive emotional growth. The fertile ground of trust and the elements of nurturing relationships are required for humor to take root. 

Humor is an often overlooked skill that many people take for granted.   A closer look finds that humor provides enormous benefits, including stress relief, maximizing learning, increasing creativity, improving communication skills, and creating an environment of trust. Humor is inseparable from our whole being. It is intrinsically woven into our emotional and social psyche reflecting our ethics and belief systems. A sense of humor defines the social and emotional psyche known as our humor being. 

Humor is usually thought of as something that makes you laugh or is amusing. However, a sense of humor is actually the capacity of a human being to respond to life challenges with optimistic amusement. There is a synergy evident in people who have such an optimistic sense of humor. Humergy is the energy that radiates the joyful optimism of our inner spirit, reflects our unique personality, and nourishes a healthy mind/body balance. 

When there is a combination of enthusiasm, energy, joy, and hope, there emerges a peak experience that can be identified as a sense of humor. The relatively new field of positive psychology strives to understand and promote the human potential that enables individuals and communities to thrive. Humor is one of the complex cognitive strengths that emerge connecting our basic temperament and our lifetime experiences.

Many people and organizations are contributing to the pioneering field of humor research.  I volunteer on the board of the international AATH (Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor).  The mission is to serve as the community of professionals who study, practice and promote healthy humor and laughter. 

Each person can improve their humor being by engaging in mindful humor practice.  Here are a few suggestions;
  • Notice what makes you laugh and keep a journal of the funny things that happen each day.
  • Hang out with optimistic and joyful people. Avoid humordoomers.
  • Practice laughing out loud.  Choose funny movies, books and television shows.
  • Engage in healthy humor practices. 
  • Observe your humor style. Notice what kind of humor you prefer-puns, jokes, stories or slapstick. 
  • Read my book, Using Humor to Maximize Living! 
A humorist facilitates the capacity of self and others to adapt to everyday events or global change, with laughter and optimistic humor.  How are you nurturing your humor being? 
“If you haven’t got a sense of humor, you haven’t any sense at all.”
Mary McDonald