Karyn Buxman

Catching Up With Karyn

Posts Tagged 'self-help'

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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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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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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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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