Karyn Buxman

Catching Up With Karyn

Posts Tagged 'diabetes humor'

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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Using Humor to Manage Your Diabetes: Building Laughter into Your Routine

Every day, Amanda goes for a walk near her San Diego home. The thirty-two year old has Type 2 diabetes, and regular exercise helps her keep healthy. “I can’t say I go anywhere in particular,” she said. “I just head for the beach and start walking.” Along the way, she listens to audiobooks. “Only funny stuff,” Amanda’s quick to point out. “Right now, I’m listening to David Sedaris’ latest book. Walking makes me feel good, laughing makes me feel good, so I figured why not combine the two?”

Amanda may be on to something. Humor has a vital role to play in helping people with diabetes live happier, healthier lives. Laughing regularly improves the mood and has been found to contribute toward a more positive mindset. There are also very real, very physical benefits to laughter. Enjoying humor lowers the blood pressure, improves circulation, and can even help minimizing post-meal blood sugar spikes.

Laughing regularly is an easy, fun, free way to improve your health. But sometimes those laughs don’t just happen. What can you do to find the funny?
How to Laugh More: Build Enjoying Humor into Your Daily Routine

A key to making sure you laugh every day is to make sure your schedule includes exposure to funny things.  We all have busy schedules, so multi-tasking can be a very useful skill here. Amanda listens to funny audiobooks while she walks; you could do the same thing during your own workout, morning commute, or whenever you’re stuck waiting.

It’s okay to be deliberate in the search for humor.Set up a designated email for funny joke-of-the-day emails, and make sure to check it once a day. Do you love Twitter? Create a custom list of people (Tweeple?) who make you laugh, and read it during your lunch break.

What’s your favorite way to add humor to your day?


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Diabetes Awareness Month: Making Time for Humor

As we celebrate Diabetes Awareness Month, I’d like to share a few thoughts on making time for humor.  We all live extremely busy lives, balancing careers, families, social lives and managing our health care. Days go by at light speed.  We’re always on the go. One minute we’re running here, the next we’re going there, with a million things to do. Our to-do lists are six miles long, on average, and every item never gets crossed off. At this pace, entire days can go by when there’s just no time to laugh.  Those days add up, and before you know it, you’re looking at weeks, even months, without humor.

Don’t believe me? Ask yourself this. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried? For most people, it’s been a while. But as I explain in What’s So Funny About Diabetes?, people with diabetes enjoy significantly better health when they laugh regularly and often. There are multiple ways humor helps us achieve effective diabetes management. Something as simple as laughing at your favorite sit com has been clinically proven to minimize post-meal blood sugar spikes.

How can you break through the busy to incorporate more humor into your life? Try treating yourself to a humor appetizer.  Since we know that laughing prior to meals helps minimize blood sugar spikes later on, make a point of enjoying humor before you eat.  This doesn’t have to be difficult!

If you’re in the habit of checking your emails first thing in the morning (and many of us are!) subscribe to a funny Joke of the Day list and read those before breakfast.  Schedule lunch dates with your funniest friends or co-workers.  Put your favorite sit com on the tv while you’re preparing dinner. (Caution: don’t try to make complicated recipes while watching The Big Bang Theory -it’s really easy for everything to go horribly, horribly wrong. Ask me how I know this!)

What’s your favorite tip for adding humor to your daily routine?

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What’s So Funny About Diabetes: Diabetes Awareness Month Starts Today!

An anxious woman called her doctor. “I’m diabetic and I’m afraid I’ve had too much sugar today,” she said.

“Are you light-headed? ” the nurse asked.

“No,” the caller answered, “I’m a brunette”.

Are you ready? November 1st marks the beginning of Diabetes Awareness Month! For the next 30 days, we’re going to be featuring jokes, cartoons, and all types of diabetes-themed  humor, designed to make you laugh.  Laughter has a vital role to play in your diabetes management. When you laugh, your body responds in many ways: lowering blood pressure, increasing circulation, and minimizing post-meal blood sugar spikes.  Enjoying humor is lots of fun – and it can actually make you feel better!

Humor helps:

  • If you have Type 1 Diabetes
  • If you have Type 2 Diabetes
  • If you have Gestational Diabetes
  • If you don’t have diabetes at all – but you love someone who does!

In What’s So Funny About Diabetes?: A Creative Approach to Coping with Your Disease you can read about how humor can help people with diabetes control their blood sugar. Here’s a quick peek between the covers:

Does your blood sugar spike after suppertime? Humor can help lower the increase in blood sugar you experience after eating a meal. A research study from Japan showed that those who watched a brief comedy show after eating had lower glucose values than those who did not see the program.

Over two days, participants were given identical meals. On one day, they watched a humorless lecture, and the next they watched a Japanese comedy show. The group of 19 people with diabetes and five without had their blood glucose monitored during the study.

While non-diabetics showed no difference in blood glucose following the serious lecture or the comedy show, diabetics showed significantly lower blood glucose levels following the comedy show, but not the boring lecture. (The study was published in Diabetes Care.) The glucose reducing effect of humor was replicated in three additional studies. While the scientists can’t yet put their finger on what’s responsible for the blood-glucose lowering effect in diabetics, the researchers suggest that these findings point to “the importance of daily opportunities for laughter in patients with diabetes.”

Studies show that laughing lowers your levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol increases insulin resistance, while adrenaline tells your liver to pump more glucose into your blood. The combined effect can be a lasting reduction in blood glucose levels. In other words, laughter can probably help lower your blood glucose and keep it down for quite a while!

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