Karyn Buxman

Catching Up With Karyn

Posts Tagged 'therapeutic humor'

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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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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In Loving Memory: Dr. William Fry, Jr.

Bill fryHow do you say goodbye to someone who has not only touched your life, but touched the world? When I saw the return address on the envelope in my mail this morning, I immediately knew. It’s been over a year since I’ve heard from William (Bill) or (daughter) Susan. But July is not the time they’d be sending a Christmas card. I intuitively knew that Susan was writing to tell me that her dad (my friend and colleague) had passed away.

My mind was immediately flooded with selfish memories—and guilt. I’d visited Bill about a year ago, and I had planned to go again this spring. But I was busy. Too busy to go see someone who meant the world to me.

The world knows William Fry as a renowned psychoneuroimmunologist who was a pioneer in the field of applied and therapeutic humor. His scientific studies on humor and laughter are too numerous to mention here. But his thirst for knowledge, his dedication to science, and his love of humor led him to be one of the most widely recognized experts in the field. One of his most treasured awards was the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor.

But if you are not one of the fortunate to have known Bill—the father, the husband, the grandfather, the colleague, the friend—then please read on. Bill was married for sixty years to the love of his life, Betty, who passed away a few years ago. And he leaves behind three children: Peter, Stephen, and Susan, as well as six grand children. Bill traveled the world and made friends everywhere he went. Most of us knew of his plethora of writings on humor and laughter, but he also wrote on a broad range of topics—from children’s stories and poetry to string theory!

bill fry awardI smile remembering our last visit: he was kind enough to put me up at his home. Despite the fact that he was pushing ninety, he scampered up and down the steps of his three-level house like a 10 year old. And while his body was bent and showing the signs of his years, his eyes twinkled and his wit was a sharp as a scalpel.

We spent hours as he proudly showed me his extensive library; its shelves extended so high that you needed a ladder to reach the top levels; and the books reflected his broad range of interests and expertise. I also learned that Bill’s daughter Susan is a chip off the ol’ DNA block!

On New Year’s Day this year I was hit with the flu (no, not a “Bar Flu”) and Bill had called to wish me “Happy New Year!” I didn’t whine, but I did tell him that I was under the weather. Well, two days later a small box showed up with his return address with a bottle of aspirin and a bottle of Pepto-Bismol, and a card with no name, just a smiley face. Despite the fact that I still felt lousy, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud.

How do you say goodbye to someone who has touched your life so significantly? We can’t tell them all the things we wish we’d said before they died. Years ago, my friend and colleague, Hope Mihalap, encouraged me to practice living eulogies. “Don’t wait until after someone has died to let them know how much they mean to you. Tell them all the good stuff before they die.”

I feel grateful that I had let Bill know how much he meant to me last time we spoke. But I am even more motivated to tell those who are still with me how much they mean to me. How could any of us be too busy to do that?

To all of you (and you know who you are) who are still reading this far—thanks for being part of my life. And to Bill…I miss you and will continue to share your good works and your laughter with the world.

In loving memory

William Finley Fry, Jr.

March 25, 1924-May 16, 2014

 

In love and laughter,

Karyn Buxman

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Join Karyn on the Evolving Consciousness Community Cruise

Join Karyn Buxman on a Cruise! Reserve your spot today!

Let’s see. It’s been a busy fall for me, and I’m sure it has been for you too. We’ve been through a government shutdown, the Affordable Care Act roll-out has been rocky at best, and apparently, c-diff still smells really, really bad.

Isn’t it time for a learning experience that was actually FUN? I could use one, and I bet you could too. That’s why I’m inviting you to join me on the Evolving Conscious Community Cruise. Just imagine: a luxury cruise liner, with all kinds of delicious food, comfortable accommodations, and stops at three fantastic Caribbean islands.  Infinitely more fun than surprise double shifts!

And it just gets better, because when you go on the Evolving Conscious Community Cruise, you’re not just having fun. Oh no! You’re learning valuable information from Dr. Norm Shealy, Jean Watson (!!!!!), the amazing Bhava Ram and all sorts of other awesome people about how we can create the change we want to see in healthcare: better treatment and outcome for our patients, healthier work environments for us all, and maybe, just maybe, surgeons who smile every now and then. Believe me, these are CEU credits you’re going to enjoy getting.

Space on this awesome cruise event is limited, so you’ll want to book your room now. Don’t forget to point out to your supervisor how pumped up and energetic you’ll be on your return, right before the busy holiday season! It’s a great time to learn, laugh, and grow!

 

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