Karyn Buxman

Catching Up With Karyn

Become the Master of Your Remote! (Humor Challenge Day 18)

Numerous studies have been conducted where subjects watched humorous shows for a half hour or more and in study after study, researchers found, over periods of days or weeks (depending on the study) that the subjects experienced lower blood pressure, decreased cortisol, decreased blood sugar (in persons with diabetes), proteins angiotensin, and renin (high levels can lead to kidney disease), decreased muscle tension, and diminished pain.

So today’s humor challenge: become the master of your remote control! Watch 30 minutes of something funny on TV.

It’s enjoyable to watch funny shows when you happen to catch them by chance, but what we’re trying to create in this humor challenge is a habit. I want you to become strategic in the way you get your laughs. Humor by chance is entertaining and does have value. But humor by choice ramps up your benefits to a higher level.

I love Big Bang Theory and have watched the episodes so many times I know most of them by heart. I own the DVDs, but I also TiVo episodes for easy access. I keep a variety of sitcoms on hand to suite my mood: Community, Modern Family, and classics like Cheers, MASH, and Seinfeld.

I keep many of my favorite movies on hand, like Steel Magnolias, When Harry Met Sally, Meet the Fokkers, and my favorite of all time, In & Out, with Kevin Kline.

If you want suggestions for movies go to Beyond-Funny.com and look under “Tools”. You’ll find a list there of top funny films. Trade recommendations with your humor buddy, and with friends and colleagues.

Again, your humor challenge for today is to watch something funny on your television for 30 minutes. Become master of your remote!

Ideally you want to be scheduling 30 minutes of some kind of humor daily to get the most bang for your yuk. Being intentional about watching funny shows and movies can be part of your repertoire.

Congratulations on committing to exercising your sense of humor. I hope you’ll join me tomorrow for the next challenge. I’m Karyn Buxman reminding you to create a humor habit and reap the benefits. Humor is power!

Neurohumorist Karyn Buxman’s mission in life is to enhance global business, improve global health, and achieve global peace through strategic humor.  www.KarynBuxman.com/30-day-humor-challenge-2015 #humor30

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Derailment (Humor Challenge Day 16)

One of the theories of humor is that it comes from incongruity or derailment. That moment of absurdity that occurs when your mind thinks your train of thought is heading one direction, and then suddenly goes another, triggers our brain to laugh.

Today’s humor challenge: Practice derailment by playing with aphorisms.

An aphorism is a short phrase that expresses a truth or wisdom. For instance, you’ve probably heard the following aphorisms:

  • The early bird catches the worm.
  • Crime  doesn’t pay.
  • Too may cooks spoil the broth.
  • Fish and guests smell after 3 days.

One way to play with aphorisms is to take your list of phrases, cut them in half, and then mix them up to create new and funny phrases, like

  • The early bird doesn’t pay.
  • Crime catches the worm.
  • Fish and guests spoil the broth.
  • Too any cooks smell after 3 days.

Another way to play with derailment and incongruity is to take the first half of the aphorisms and then make up your own endings. A first grade teacher did this with her class. They came up with some great creative—and funny—sayings, like

  • A penny saved is… not much!
  • Two’s company. Three’s… the Musketeers!
  • Laugh and the whole world laughs with you. Cry and… you have to blow your nose.

That’s today’s challenge. Practice derailment and incongruity by playing with aphorisms. Stretch your humor muscle.

Congratulations for committing to another day. I hope you’ll join me tomorrow for the next humor challenge. I’m Karyn Buxman reminding you to create a humor habit and reap the benefits. Humor is power!

Neurohumorist Karyn Buxman’s mission in life is to enhance global business, improve global health, and achieve global peace through strategic humor. See all Humor Challenge blog posts and videos at www.KarynBuxman.com/30-day-humor-challenge-2015

 

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Moments of Mirth (Humor Challenge Day 15)

Here’s a great way to experience humor that doesn’t require you to go anywhere or do anything other than relax and… remember a past humorous memory or Moment of Mirth.

Todays humor challenge: Moments of Mirth.

We’ve all got stories that we share when we get together with friends or family—usually preceded by “Remember the time when…?” These stories usually grow and get even funnier over time.

I keep a journal and when I think of another Moment of Mirth (MOM) I jot it down. There’s an old Chinese proverb that says the palest of ink is better than the sharpest memory. (Especially MY memory!)

When feeling like I need a humor boost I pull out my MOM journal and laugh over an incident that might have otherwise been forgotten. Like when my son Adam, at 4-years old, hopped up into the barber chair and said to the barber, “Gimme a flat top.”

The barber saw the surprised look on my face and said to Adam, “Is that what your mom wants?”

Adam looked him straight in the eye and shot back, “Why would my mom want a flat top?”

Recalling humorous events can be just as entertaining (maybe even more!) than when you actually experienced them the first time. Recalling funny stories can provide physiological benefits like muscle relaxation. This can provide psychological benefits like decreased anxiety or depression. And you can even experience social benefits when you share these stories with others.

So that’s today’s challenge: Reminisce for a bit. Tap into a Moment Of Mirth. Write it down. And then to get even more mileage out of it, reach out to someone today and share it. You’ll both benefit!

That’s it! Congratulations for committing to another day. I hope you’ll join me tomorrow for the next humor challenge. I’m Karyn Buxman reminding you to create a humor habit and reap the benefits. Humor is power!

Neurohumorist Karyn Buxman’s mission in life is to enhance global business, improve global health, and achieve global peace through strategic humor. See all Humor Challenge blog posts and videos at www.KarynBuxman.com/30-day-humor-challenge-2015

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Voicemail (Humor Challenge Day 14)

I called my son, Adam, and I heard him respond, “Hello? Hello?”

“Adam, it’s mom,” I said.

“Hello? Your reception is terrible. Try moving to a better spot,” Adam said.

I walked to the other side of the room. “How’s that? Any better?”

“I can hardly hear you,” he said. “Try moving to a different spot.”

I walked to the other side of the room. “How’s that?” I said a little louder.

“I can barely hear you. Can you move around?”

I walked to a different spot. Now yelling, I said, “Can you hear me now?” And then I heard…

“This is Adam’s voicemail. Please leave your name and number and he’ll call you back.”

 

Today’s humor challenge: Leave something humorous on your outgoing voicemail message.

You can have fun AND give folks calling you a reason to smile. Over the years I’ve collected dozens and dozens of humorous outgoing voicemail messages. Here are a few of my favorites. Try one of these, search for other funny messages, or make up one of your own (and send it to me for my collection!).

  • This is not an answering machine – this is a telepathic thought-recording device. After the tone, think about your name, your reason for calling, and a number where I can reach you, and I’ll think about returning your call.
  • Hi. I am probably home, I’m just avoiding someone I don’t like. Leave me a message, and if I don’t call back, it’s you.
  • Hi! Now you say something…

That’s today’s humor challenge. Have fun. Be creative. Create a funny outgoing voicemail message. Voicemail has become a way of life. Might as well make it fun!

That’s it! Congratulations for committing to another day. I hope you’ll join me tomorrow for the next humor challenge. I’m Karyn Buxman reminding you to create a humor habit and reap the benefits. Humor is power!

Neurohumorist Karyn Buxman’s mission in life is to enhance global business, improve global health, and achieve global peace through strategic humor. See all Humor Challenge blog posts and videos at www.KarynBuxman.com/30-day-humor-challenge-2015

 

 

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Become a Student of Humor (Day 13)

It was eight o’clock on a Monday morning and I was lost in thought about the day’s events when suddenly a rhythmic thumping noise brought my seven-year-old to mind.

“Adam!” I called out. No answer.

“Adam!” I called again. Still no answer.

Now a mom-on-a-mission, I bounded up the stairs. As I approached Adam’s room I could feel the “Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!”

I opened his door and there was Adam—jumping up and down on his bed— wearing nothing but his underwear and a big smile . . .  . . . swinging his school clothes over his head… singing and kicking and dancing!

I lost it! “What do you think you’re doing?”

Adam stopped mid-jump, grinned a huge grin, and with the “wisdom of Yoda,” said, “Don’t ya think gettin’ dressed in the morning oughta be more fun?!”

My first response?  “NO!!!”

My next response? “No more of Mommy’s motivational tapes for you, young man!”

But moments later, the humor and wisdom of my son got through to me, and I marveled at his ability to find laughter and delight in such an ordinary task.

Children have little problem finding humor in day-to-day life. However, by the time you become an adult, to experience more humor in your daily life, often takes more purpose and intention.

Today’s challenge: Become a student of humor.

There are lots of ways to become a student of humor—you can find information about the how and why of humor in books, articles, studies, websites, ezines… But if you’d like to streamline the process, I have a shortcut for you. There’s an incredible non-profit organization I have found incredibly valuable: the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor.

This organization is the community for those who study, practice and promote healthy humor. They have numerous resources on their website, a monthly e-zine with the latest updates in therapeutic and applied humor, and an annual conference which brings like-minded people together from around the world. AATH even has an emersion program called Humor Academy, a 3-year course on the theory and application of humor (available for graduate credit). You can also find AATH on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

There are other organizations like the International Society of Humor Studies (ISHS) and World Laughter Tour (WLT) that provide additional online content and conferences. I have tips & resources that I send to my tribe monthly in an ezine called LevityWorks. (You can sign up here).

Today’s challenge: Become a student of humor. Look for at least one resource that will help you reinforce the lessons of humor, after the challenge is completed, and on an ongoing basis.

That’s it! Congratulations for committing to another day. I hope you’ll join me tomorrow for the next humor challenge. I’m Karyn Buxman reminding you to create a humor habit and reap the benefits. Humor is power!

Neurohumorist Karyn Buxman’s mission in life is to enhance global business, improve global health, and achieve global peace through strategic humor. See all Humor Challenge blog posts and videos at www.KarynBuxman.com/30-day-humor-challenge-2015

 

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