10 Reasons Why Your Sense of Humor is No Laughing Matter
Recognizing the Power of Humor to Help or Hurt
By Lois McElravy
It's no joke! Humor that is used appropriately can be your best friend or your worst enemy if misused, don't you agree?
Research has long documented the positive effects a sense of humor has on a person's health, happiness and success in life. The benefits of humor in the workplace are becoming widely recognized. Both of these statements are in reference to "healthy" humor.
While positive humor has tremendous power to heal and create closeness; negative humor has tremendous power to hurt and distance. How do you define what a "healthy" sense of humor IS and IS NOT?
Five things a "sense of humor" IS!
1. A sense of humor IS a choice of attitude and your willingness to look for, find, and enjoy the "funny" in your everyday life.
2. A sense of humor IS a tool you can use to reduce stress and anxiety, help you escape the seriousness of life that can weigh you down, and increase your ability to deal with life's daily demands and challenges.
3. A sense of humor IS a release to help you relieve tension, relax, let down your guard, laugh, open up, connect, bond, and improve your relationships.
4. A sense of humor IS a coping strategy to help you succeed in overcoming tragedy, personal loss, embarrassment, hurt, frustration, anger, disappointment, and change. When you learn how to separate "who you are" from "what you do," you can laugh at your circumstances, without damaging your self worth.
5. A sense of humor IS a magical gift within each of us, which requires feeding, nurturing, and developing. It has the power to attract, invite, include, rescue, protect, preserve, heal, restore, amuse, entertain, energize, and enhance your everyday life and relationships at work and home.
Five things a "sense of humor" is NOT!
1. Having a sense of humor does NOT mean you have to be a comedian or try to make others laugh.
2. Having a sense of humor does NOT require you must have the ability to make quick hilarious remarks, witty come-backs or tell funny stories and jokes.
3. Having a sense of humor does NOT insist you have to laugh at everything, especially if it offends you or if you are the brunt of another's misuse of humor.
4. Having a sense of humor does NOT provide you opportunity to sling sarcasm or vent feelings of hostility, anger and resentment by using negative come-backs, insults or putdowns.
5. Having a sense of humor does NOT give you permission to say anything that might hurt anotherÕs feelings, ridicule, poke fun, intimidate, alienate, patronize, degrade, belittle, embarrass, pick on or offend.
"It is MORE IMPORTANT to HAVE FUN than to BE FUNNY, isn't it?"
A quote from Lawrence J. Peter and Bill Dana says: "Realize that a sense of humor is deeper than laughter, more satisfying than comedy and delivers more rewards than merely being entertaining. A sense of humor sees the fun in everyday experiences. It is more important to have fun than it is to be funny."
How does your sense of humor measure up? Does your sense of humor need some refining?
Humor is meant to improve the quality of your life, and bless others; not to cause harm. Before you can use humor safely and effectively with others, you have to first define it and refine it within yourself.
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, 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.
©2006 Lois McElravy, Lessons from Lois - This article was published in the February 2005 issue of Inside the Garden City — Permission to reprint or repost this article is granted by notifying Lois McElravy, and including her name and contact information in the article.
Contact Lois to speak at your next event: email@example.com , (406)251.2887 http://www.lessonsfromlois.com
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