Karyn Buxman

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Archive for April, 2015

Laugh at yourself! (Day 12)

The ability to laugh at yourself reveals to others several important traits about you.

First, it shows you have a sense of humor—a desirable trait.

Next, when you practice self-effacing humor, you’re demonstrating your vulnerability. Those experiencing your humor see your openness in a way that makes you more approachable.

And when you poke fun at yourself, you’re demonstrating poise and self-assurance. Being able to laugh at yourself takes a strong level of self-confidence.

So today’s challenge: Laugh at yourself.

Forgot your computer password? Left your zipper in the down position? Locked your keys in the car—again? Lighten up. Show others that you recognize that you aren’t perfect, that you’re capable of making mistakes, and that you can reframe and see imperfections through the lens of humor.

Numerous members of my family—including me—deal with Attention Deficit Disorder. We may have this disorder, but it doesn’t have us! We play with our pain and joke about the derailments, the loss of productivity, and the accompanying frustrations.

If you’ve ever seen the movie UP! then you’ve seen the poster child, er… dog, for our cause. You know that Dug (the dog) has been derailed when he shouts, “Squirrel!” (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, click here to see a clip.) So my office is decorated with various stuffed squirrels, we have squirrel Christmas tree ornaments, and the phrase “squirrel” has taken on a different—and funny—meaning among family and friends. One of my favorite jokes:

 

How many kids with ADD does it take to change a light bulb?

Let’s go ride our bikes!

 

My kidding about ADD gives me a sense of empowerment, and that gets communicated to others through shared humor.

Again, today’s challenge, laugh at yourself. Show others that you can take yourself lightly. Empower yourself and strengthen your relationships.

That’s it for today. Congratulations on your commitment to creating a healthier, happier you! 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

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Jokes! (Challenge Day 11)

“Got any good jokes?”

“Nah, I can never remember the punch line…”

That’s how the conversation usually goes when I ask people for a joke. And when I ask for a show of hands in my audience to see who can tell a joke, only about 1 in 100 will raise their hand (while the person sitting next to them looks on thinking, “You can’t tell a joke!”).

Why is it that the majority of us believe we can’t tell a good joke? Joke telling is a skill that can be learned without a lot of blood, sweat and tears. For most of us, it’s just not that important. At least until today…

Today’s challenge: Tell a joke! If you already know a good one, then you’re way ahead. If you don’t, then here’s what you need to prepare for today’s exercise.

First, find a joke that you find funny. (Knock knock jokes, light bulb jokes, lawyer/doctor/engineer jokes, bar jokes—the list is almost endless!) There are tons of resources for jokes. You may have a joke book lying around the house (I have several I go to in a pinch but my favorite is by Garrison Keillor). There are countless joke sites on the Internet. You can ask your humor buddies. You can ask a kid

(Note: In terms of payoff (usually measured by laughter), there’s a payoff ratio that goes like this: Length-of-joke to Funniness-of-joke. In other words, the shorter the joke, the less funny it has to be for others laugh or be amused. But if people have to invest a lengthy amount of time to hear your joke and it’s not a gut-buster, you’re going to be run out of town!

Next, read or say the joke aloud at least 7 times so that you have the key points  committed to memory. Nothing spoils a joke like forgetting the punch line, or remembering half-way through that “it wasn’t about a parrot—it was about a talking horse, so let me start over…”

Then find someone to share you joke with and go for it! (And then share it again. And again.) Joke telling is a skill. The more you do it, the better you will become.

If you work in a job where the turnover is high in regards to people you see everyday, then just one joke, told well, will make you stand out! But if you see the same colleagues and customers (or students or staff or friends) day after day after day, then you might want to learn a repertoire of jokes.

Sharing a good joke with another person, whether at work or at home, can build rapport and strengthen relationships. And it communicates to others that you appreciate humor, which people see as a valuable trait.

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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Create an Rediculous Explanation List (Day 10)

When we look at something as negative, bad juju in our body. But if we can change our perspective, it changes our outlook as well as our health. Humor is an easy and practical way to change your mindset.

Today’s humor challenge: Create a “rediculous explanation” list.

Think of something you’d like to get out of doing: Doing the dishes, filing your taxes, going to work… Then use your creativity or brainstorm with your humor buddy, and come up with as many outlandish and ridiculous reasons as you can to dodge the dreaded task! By viewing your chore through the lens of humor, you can lessen your stress and improve your mood. You’ll more likely do a better job and enjoy it more.

Here’s an example:

I can’t go to work today because…

  • I have amnesia and can’t remember where I work.
  • my goldfish has pneumonia.
  • you broke my funny bone!
  • I bumped my head on the glass ceiling.
  • I’m taking a mental health day—I’m calling in well.
  • I have *clinomania (*excessive desire to stay in bed).

Today’s challenge: Create “A Rediculous Explanation” list. It may not get you out of doing a dreaded task, but it can make it more fun and give you something to smile about while you’re doing it.

That’s it. 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

 

 

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Listen to Your Favorite Comedian (Day 9)

Who makes you laugh? Ellen DeGeneres? Steve Martin? CK Lewis? Rita Rudner? Tim Allen? Roseanne Barr? Jeff Foxworthy? Whoopi Goldberg? David Letterman? Paula Poundstone? George Carlin? Wanda Sykes? Eddie Izzard? Joan Rivers? (Review your notes from Challenge Day 1: But I’m Not Funny)

Today’s challenge: Tap into your favorite comedian.

Today it’s easy to tune in and listen to your favorite comedian. YouTube carries tons of routines from comedians, past and present. iTunes allows you to listen to and download your favorites and take them with you on your smart phone, computer, iPad, iPod, tablet—you name it. And for those of you still listening to CDs—you can find a great number of comedian’s works on Amazon. (For those of you with cassette and 8-track tapes, your task may be a bit more challenging, but persevere!) Tip: if you follow your favorite comedians on social media, you may be able to access bits that aren’t available for sale.

Schedule at least 15 minutes today to listen to your favorite comedian. Just in that short amount of time, you can experience physiological and psychological benefits!

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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Laugh for No Reason (Day 8)

I believe that humor is abundant—at least most of the time. But I’ll admit there will be times when you can’t think of anything humorous to laugh about. What then? Laugh anyway.

Today’s challenge: Laugh for no reason.

Laughter is so good for us and provides so many benefits that if you don’t have a reason to laugh, you’ll want to laugh anyway. It’s okay if it’s not a real laugh. Even with a fake (simulated) laugh, you get loads of benefits: aerobic exercise for your heart, muscle relaxation, improved mood—just to mention a few. And frequently your simulated laugh may become a stimulated (or real) laugh.

We have neurons in our brains called mirror neurons. That’s why when we see or hear someone else laugh our brain messages us to laugh, too. Sitcoms often capitalize on this by putting a laugh track on their show—you hear the laughter and then laugh yourself—even if you didn’t find it that funny! Or you’ll be somewhere and hear someone else laugh—and you’ll start to giggle—even though you don’t know why the other person’s laughing! So try this challenge with your humor buddy, if you can. You’ll find that laughter is contagious and soon you’ll both be in stitches.

You can even do this laughter exercise in groups. A great resource for this is World Laughter Tour. There you can learn about lots of different laughter exercises that are fun and beneficial socially, psychologically, and physiologically. Laughter for no reason is a great multi-generational exercise. I’ve had participants range from toddlers to a gal who was 97 years old (and sharp as a tack!).

So today’s challenge: Laugh for no reason. Start with periods of 15 to 30 seconds. Then eventually over the next several weeks, work up to 2 minutes if you can! (Disclaimer: If you have recently had abdominal surgery, or suffer from a serious respiratory illness, check with your physician before laughing for extended periods of time. This will NOT cause hair loss, nausea, rashes, sleepiness, or loss of libido!)

That’s it. 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

 

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Laugh for No Reason (Humor Challenge Day 8)

I believe that humor is abundant—at least most of the time. But I’ll admit there will be times when you can’t think of anything humorous to laugh about. What then? Laugh anyway.

Today’s challenge: Laugh for no reason.

Laughter is so good for us and provides so many benefits that if you don’t have a reason to laugh, you’ll want to laugh anyway. It’s okay if it’s not a real laugh. Even with a fake (simulated) laugh, you get loads of benefits: aerobic exercise for your heart, muscle relaxation, improved mood—just to mention a few. And frequently your simulated laugh may become a stimulated (or real) laugh.

We have neurons in our brains called mirror neurons. That’s why when we see or hear someone else laugh our brain messages us to laugh, too. Sitcoms often capitalize on this by putting a laugh track on their show—you hear the laughter and then laugh yourself—even if you didn’t find it that funny! Or you’ll be somewhere and hear someone else laugh—and you’ll start to giggle—even though you don’t know why the other person’s laughing! So try this challenge with your humor buddy, if you can. You’ll find that laughter is contagious and soon you’ll both be in stitches.

You can even do this laughter exercise in groups. A great resource for this is World Laughter Tour. There you can learn about lots of different laughter exercises that are fun and beneficial socially, psychologically, and physiologically. Laughter for no reason is a great multi-generational exercise. I’ve had participants range from toddlers to a gal who was 97 years old (and sharp as a tack!).

So today’s challenge: Laugh for no reason. Start with periods of 15 to 30 seconds. Then eventually over the next several weeks, work up to 2 minutes if you can! (Disclaimer: If you have recently had abdominal surgery, or suffer from a serious respiratory illness, check with your physician before laughing for extended periods of time. This will NOT cause hair loss, nausea, rashes, sleepiness, or loss of libido!)

That’s it. 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

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Sing a Silly Song (Humor Challenge Day 7)

You can learn a lot about practicing humor from watching kids at play.

I was behind a mom and her 2 kids in the check-out lane and overheard her 6-year old singing away at the top of his lungs. It was a total nonsense song: John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt… I couldn’t help but laugh out loud—and then sing along with him!

Today’s Humor Challenge? Sing a silly song!

Think back to when you attended camp, or scout meetings, or church groups. Did you ever learn any silly songs? (Thought provoking songs, like… Do you ears hang low? or Great green gobs of greasy grimey gopher guts?) Still drawing a blank? How about theme songs from sitcoms? How about Gilligan’s Island, Beverly Hillbillies, Sponge Bob Square Pants? [If all else fails, Google ‘camp songs’ or ‘sitcom theme songs’.]

Warning: Song may get stuck in your head (technically, that’s called an Ear Worm, but this is not a true parasite!). The antidote for an earworm? Substitute a DIFFERENT silly song for the first!

So again, today’s Humor Challenge: Sing a silly song, extra credit if you do it in public! (Note: Singing in public and willingness to be silly shows others you’re self-confidenct—a sign of leadership.) Really, you can’t do this and keep a straight face. (And you’ll probably make those around you laugh, too!)

That’s it. 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

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Create a Fun List (Humor Challenge Day 6)

Do you ever hit a point in your day where your energy lags, your shoulders tighten, and you wouldn’t recognize a good idea if it jumped up and bit you? Time to push back from your desk and have a little fun. Can’t think of something fun to do?

Today’s challenge: Create a fun list!

Make a list of at least 10 things you like to do (20 is even better!). Disclaimer: Make sure that at least half your activities cost you $5 bucks or less to do.

The rationale? Often when you’re most in need of fun is when you’ll list be able think of something fun to do. And sometimes the reason we’re feeling crabby or crappy is because cash flow is a problem—and you don’t want that to get in the way of experiencing some amusement.

I could give you a long list of things that I think are fun. But they may not be fun to you. Humor and fun are individual tastes. A participant in one of my programs listed skydiving at the top of his list. My mom was a pilot. She taught me never to jump out of a perfectly good airplane! But things on my list include watching Big Bang Theory, playing a quick game of solitaire on my smart phone, people watching on the boardwalk next to the ocean, phoning a humor buddy, watching laughing baby videos on YouTube, listening to Cabin Pressure on iTunes, reading David Sedaris, watching one of my *favorite funny movies like In & Out  or Steel Magnolias… And the list goes on.

Think about what should go on YOUR list and write it down. Keep your list handy and refer to it daily. (And keep adding to your list as you think of additional fun things to do.) You may not feel like doing cartwheels down the sidewalk, but you will feel better than you did before doing your fun activity—I promise!

That’s it. Congratulations on committing to enhancing 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!

*For a list of more fun movies check out www.Beyond-Funny.com check out http://www.beyond-funny.com/tools.html

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

 

 

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Humor Visualization (Humor Challenge Day 5)

No doubt, there will come a time (chances are it has, already… and more than once!) that you’re stuck in a negative situation or with a negative person (the one whose goal in life is to be absolutely miserable, and whose mission is to bring down the rest of us with them!). When that occurs, one technique that you can practice is humor visualization.

I once worked with an administrator who had a gift for making all around her unhappy. Whenever she attended a meeting, by the time it was over, somebody was sure to leave crying. As I was walking out of one such dismal meeting, a colleague came up to me, and in a voice dripping with sarcasm asked, “What were you smiling about in there? You two collaborating on some little scheme?” When I realized she was insinuating that somehow I was fraternizing with the enemy, I was shocked. I’d found the meeting absolutely painful. How could she think I’d been smiling? And then it dawned on me…

At the low point of the meeting, I slipped into humor visualization. I began imagining the administrator flipping over backwards in her chair. With her dress flying up over her head. With her stretch marks shining in the florescent light. And that was enough to take me from a white-knuckle-grip on my pen to chuckling and thinking, “This too shall pass!”

Today’s challenge: Practice Humor Visualization.

Picture an annoying situation, or person—like the imbecile who cut you off in traffic, the clueless soul with a basket full of groceries in the express lane, or the customer service rep who put you on hold‑with Muzak—FOREVER!  Now play with your pain. Picture this person dressed ridiculously, or in an awkward pose, or with a comical voice… until it brings a smile to your face. By manipulating yourmindset, you’ll enjoy your day a whole lot more!

That’s it. Congratulations on committing to enhancing 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

 

 

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Designate a Humor Buddy (30-Day Challenge Day 4)

Shared humor is even more powerful than humor experienced by yourself. When you share humor with another person, you both get to experience the benefits!

Today’s challenge: Designate a humor buddy.

Reach out to someone who shares your sense of humor. Invite them to be part of the Humor Challenge with you. This person is someone you can laugh with, try out your humor exercises on, and can help hold you accountable.

I have a number of humor buddies that I love sharing humor with. I know when I send something their way, they’ll appreciate a chuckle and know that I was thinking of them. And when I’m in need of a boost, I can call them, email them, send them a text, give them a shout-out on social media, or get together over coffee (or other beverages of choice!) and they’ll provide the support I need in the form of something funny.

This challenge is about helping you create a humor habit so you can maximize the benefits that humor provides. You can do this by yourself, but it’s easier and even more fun when you have someone to practice with.

That’s it. Congratulations on committing to enhancing 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

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