GOOD NEWS! University of Chicago studies show a great sense of humor can add an additional 8 years to your life! Humor produces laughter. Laughter produces several positive effects on your physical, mental and emotional well-being. So, not only do you stand to increase the potential length of your life, but you certainly increase the quality and enjoyment of your life, if you have a great sense of humor.
But, how do you know if you have a great sense of humor, or not? Take a few minutes right now to evaluate some of your present humor habits.
1. Can you quickly recall a hilarious memory, or a most embarrassing moment?
2. Do you regularly like to hear or tell funny jokes and stories?
3. Do you catch yourself laughing and smiling several times a day?
4. Do you laugh at yourself easily?
5. When you try to be humorous, do others find you entertaining?
ANSWERING YES to questions 1 – 5 suggests you have a great sense of humor. Continue…
6. Do you reserve fun until after your work is done?
7 Are you over-sensitive when others tease you?
8. Do you reserve your sense of humor for certain people, places, or times?
9. Have you been told that you are too serious and need to lighten up?
10. Do you sometimes use sarcasm or put-downs in place of being direct?
ANSWERING YES to questions 6-10 could be signs of a great need to develop your sense of humor.
Which is it? Do you have a great sense of humor, or a great need to develop your sense of humor? Or both?
Do you wish you had a greater sense of humor, but don’t know where to start with the daunting task of developing it? It’s easy! You have just taken the first step by assessing a few of your humor habits and becoming aware of any areas you might like to improve.
The second step is simple, too. Just start looking and listening for the “funny” in your everyday ordinary life. Each time you bump up against a challenge, ask, “How could I use humor to lighten-up or diffuse this intense situation? Would this be funny if it was happening to someone else? Will I think this is funny later? Or use your imagination, “Wouldn’t it have been funny if…?”
The third step is to find a “humor buddy” and regularly share your precious moments of humor with each other. Having a humor buddy helps both of you create a new humor habit.
A great sense of humor begins with a choice of attitude. Commit to look for at least one “funny” each day, and you will find it. Share it with your humor buddy. Before you know it, you will be surrounded by a greater sense of humor and equipped with the resilience you need to cope in those “not so funny” moments.
“Your sense of humor may or may not add years to your life; but it certainly will add life to your years.” Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D. / Laughter Remedy
Lois McElravy, Lessons from Lois, works with individuals and organizations who want to learn how to effectively use humor, so they can handle the demands and pressures of work and home, maintain a flexible perspective, develop creative solutions, produce positive outcomes, and have more fun.
Learning to laugh and “hangin’ on with humor” rescued Lois from the distress and despair surrounding her daily life, and initiated her recovery from a brain injury. Her universal message offers hope, motivates participants to be faithful to do the small things, and conquer their challenges one day at a time.
В©2006 Lois McElravy, Lessons from Lois – Permission to reprint or repost this article is granted by notifying Lois McElravy, and including her name and contact information in the article.
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