Unitarian Universalist Church of the Lakes
Watch David and the talk on YouTube:
Listen / Audio on SoundCloud
Resources for assistance when your humor is low.
Caryn Standal (and team)
Child & Family Therapeutic Systems
Sandy Walden - Grief Coach
Gail Vella - Laughter Yoga
Thanks to Jody Pogo
Would you like to speak on humor?
“No. Too huge.”
“There are others.”
"Health or Wellness?"
Both I guess ...
Both I guess ...
Complicated or Nuanced?
If you are pondering this at all you are probably in pretty good shape.
"You are perfect as you are. And you could use a little work." an old zen saying.
The zen in me follows up with this: What if the work is play?
When I dipped into this humor question I began to feel like a snake oil salesman. Is there anything that does not improve with a sense of humor?
Health = baseline pluses and minuses
In what realms? Physical, Mental, Emotional, Spiritual
Wellness feels like an upgrade to Health
Perhaps we can call it Wealth
More humor - Less Humor Healthy - Unhealthy
The Back Side
depression, drama, sadness, seriousness, tragedy, unhappiness
illness, sickness, disease, disorder, malady, feebleness, frailness, weakness
Sandy Walden - Grief Coach Burlington
Caryn - Therapy and Counseling 101 W. Evergreen @ Fiddlesticks
Gail Vella - Laughter Yoga
Learned quick wit from my father - Mother yelling . him jazzing the nurses.
Butterflies? A friend asked me - Not since I cut down on deep-fried caterpillars. Deflective
“And then when I was three ...” “How about them Brewers?”
Humor - good, bad, fake
sarcasm, put downs, manipulations, racist, sexist,
Slapstick to quiet amusement
dry, wry, dead pan, dead serious, funeral, eases the pain
Why humor? Raising the vibration.
Monsters Inc. found that they could get more energy capturing the laughter of children rathern then making them scream.
As we get closer to Love we let go of judgements, comparisons,
Timing. Topic. Audience.
Set up. Punchline.
Sideways truth in the moment
Robin Williams, Norman Cousins, Masuru Emoto, Byron Katie, Richard Rohr, Monsters, Inc.
Search terms - Humor and Truth - Kindness - Gratitude Health - Empathy -
How to? attention
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice Practice Practice
flip the script Byron Katie
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates / Plato
“The unlived life is not worth examining.” David White
We don't laugh because we're happy, we are happy because we laugh.
- William James
amusement, clowning, comicality, drollery, facetiousness, flippancy, farce, fun, gag, gaiety, happiness, jest, jesting, jocularity, joke, joyfulness, kidding, levity, lightness, playfulness, pleasantry, tomfoolery, whimsy, wisecrack, wit
Antonyms for humor - depression, drama, sadness, seriousness, tragedy, unhappiness
“Studying humor is like dissecting a frog — you may know a lot but you end up with a dead frog.” - Mark Twain
"Humor can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind." - E. B. White
How to do ...
Not since I cut down on the deep-fried caterpillars.
And then when I was three ... How about them Brewers?
I noticed at the end they all discovered that they got more energy from laughter then they did from making children scream.
Number of muscles Smile
12 or frown 11
but.... practice makes them
stronger and easier to use
“The first step towards true enlightenment is to lighten up on yourself.”
“A sense of humor is essentially a sense of perspective. It is an understanding that comes from a true sense of proportion. Humor is not a matter of laughing at things, but of understanding them. At its highest it is a part of understanding life. It is an ability to see ourselves as we are, and to smile at the comic figure that the biggest of us cuts in strutting across life's stage.”
― Nivard Kinsella, Unprofitable Servants: Conferences on Humility
“Surviving dangerous times require a sense of humor.” ― Robert Ferrigno, Heart of the Assassin
“Most preachers say the nature of God is unknowable, but I'm certain of one thing at least. God almighty has a sense of humor.”
― Robert Ferrigno, Heart of the Assassin
“Ability to laugh at evil, to relativize symbols without dismissing them is usually a sign of a rather healthy person. Puritans and reformers can never laugh.”
― Richard Rohr, Adam's Return: The Five Promises of Male Initiation
“Life is too important to take seriously.” - Corky Siegel
“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person.” - Audrey Hepburn
“If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
“Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.” - Francis Bacon
“Start every day off with a smile and get it over with.” - W. C. Fields
This bottom portion is edited down directly from one of the links.
The Benefits of Laughter and Humor Snake Oil Salesman
Physical health benefits
Boosts immunity, Lowers stress hormones, Decreases pain, Relaxes your muscles, Prevents heart disease
Mental health benefits
Adds joy and zest to life, Eases anxiety and tension, Relieves stress, Improves mood, Strengthens resilience
Strengthens relationships, Attracts others to us, Enhances teamwork, Helps defuse conflict, Promotes group bonding, Laughter helps you stay mentally healthy, Laughter makes you feel good.
Laughter stops distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.
Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more.
Laughter shifts perspective, allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light.
Laughter draws you closer to others, which can have a profound effect on all aspects of your mental and emotional health.
Laughter brings people together and strengthens relationships.
Sharing humor is half the fun—in fact, most laughter doesn’t come from hearing jokes, but rather simply from spending time with friends and family. And it’s this social aspect that plays such an important role in the health benefits of laughter.
Humor and playful communication strengthen our relationships.
Be more spontaneous. Humor gets you out of your head and away from your troubles.
Let go of defensiveness. Laughter helps you forget resentments, judgments, criticisms, and doubts.
Release inhibitions. Your fear of holding back is pushed aside.
Express your true feelings. Deeply felt emotions are allowed to rise to the surface.
Use humor to resolve disagreements and tension in your relationship
Here are some ways to start:
Smile. Smiling is the beginning of laughter, and like laughter, it’s contagious.
Count your blessings. Literally make a list. The simple act of considering the positive aspects of your life will distance you from negative thoughts that block humor and laughter.
When you hear laughter, move toward it. When you hear laughter, seek it out and ask, “What’s funny?”
Spend time with fun, playful people.
Bring humor into conversations. Ask people, “What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today? This week? In your life?”
To add simulated laughter into your own life, search for laugh yoga or laugh therapy groups.
Creating opportunities to laugh
Watch a funny movie, TV show, or YouTube video
Invite friends or co-workers out to a comedy club
Read the funny pages
Seek out funny people
Share a good joke or a funny story
Check out your bookstore’s humor section Host game night with friends
Play with a pet
Go to a “laughter yoga” class
Goof around with children
Do something silly
Make time for fun activities
Tips for developing your sense of humor An essential ingredient for developing your sense of humor is to learn not to take yourself too seriously and laugh at your own mistakes and foibles.
How to develop your sense of humor Laugh at yourself. Share your embarrassing moments. The best way to take yourself less seriously is to talk about times when you took yourself too seriously.
Attempt to laugh at situations rather than bemoan them.
Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up.
Remember funny things that happen.
Don’t dwell on the negative. Try to avoid negative people and don’t dwell on news stories, entertainment, or conversations that make you sad or unhappy.
Find your inner child. Pay attention to children and try to emulate them—after all, they are the experts on playing, taking life lightly, and laughing at ordinary things.
Deal with stress. Stress can be a major impediment to humor and laughter, so it’s important to keep your stress levels in check.
"Hearty laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outdoors.”
- Norman Cousins
“The journey of a thousand smiles may begin with a single giggle.” - says me, David White.
Now, let's go ....
A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It's jolted by every pebble on the road. - Henry Ward Beecher
"Hearty laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outdoors.” Norman Cousins