Monday, December 01, 2008

Other Strategies for Adding Humor to Your Life

I was looking at the same article I just posted the quiz from, and the page before the quiz is a list of ways to add humor to your life. This may also be of interest to someone.

Innovations in Clinical Practice: A Source Book (Vol. 5)
Waleed Salameh "The effective use of humor in psychotherapy." (p. 169)

Other Strategies for Adding Humor to Your Life. Draw cartoons (without worrying about their artistic value) about situations, persons, or events which you find to be particularly humorous. Create humorous collages. Take an art or photography catalog (or even your own family album) and make up humorous captions for each picture. When you come home every evening, try to remember at least one funny event that happened during the day. Write it down and share it with friends and family. Practice "International Dyslexia" by creating new words or onomatopoeias that cannot be found in dictionaries. Ask your friends to tell you their favorite jokes and tell them yours.

Find some time to be alone, sitting in your most comfortable position, relaxed, and breathing soundly. Close your eyes and bring up a humorous experience. Visualize the event as concretely as possible, and allow yourself to fully relive and enjoy it in all its details and with all the feelings you experienced at that moment. Make a date with yourself to repeat this experience on a regular basis by bringing up the same event, constructing a cassette tape of the experience, or picturing other humorous events you have been involved in. Keep in mind that all of us have had happy, humorous experiences, even if we are sometimes more prone to remember negative happenings.

List five facts or life situations you frequently experience and which you find to be absurdly humorous. For example, why can't public telephones return change, or why do some envelopes have a caption on the top right corner saying, "Place stamp here"?

Make written notes of humorous car stickers you notice as you drive. Some examples are "Plumbers do it with a flush," "Teachers do it with class," "Fishermen have all the angles," "Quilters do it warmly," "Chemists get better reactions," "Chess players are better at mating." Start your own " it with..." sequence.

Think of a problem that has been bothering you. Think of one sentence which you could use to define your problem in a humorous vein and write it down.

Don't be afraid to share with others the spontaneous humorous associations or scenarios that cross the freeways of your mind. Of course, some of what you find humorous may not be humorous to others because different individuals have predilections for different humorous genres. It is okay for some people to feel that some other people's humor is not okay.

With your co-workers, friends, or colleagues, start a humor support group. Your group can share jokes and success stories on the constructive applications of nondestructive humor used with oneself or others. Each group member can also share with the group an embarrassing episode that he or she has lived, simply relating what happened with out censuring the event in any way. The sharing of embarrassing episodes promotes group cohesiveness, encourages members to be less self-conscious, and brings home the message that we are all imperfect human beings living in an imperfect world. Additionally, the group may enjoy experimenting with improvisational comedy sketches, miming, or other humorous performances.

Start the day with a zing. As soon as you get up in the morning, make a habit of calling up a good friend and exchanging humorous repartee with him or her. This will get you perked up and humorously ready for the day. You can also call any of your friends during the day (especially those who are unhappy and need to laugh) and leave humorous messages on their answering machines. Examples include imitating various dialects or funny advertisements, remembering private jokes, sharing new jokes, and so on.

Make funny lists to exaggerate, stretch, and spoof some of your own problems, fears, and behaviors. You may find that writing such comical lists is not only a lot of fun but can also help you deflate and gain perspective on hitherto insurmountable or disquieting concerns. And, who knows, you may find out about things you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask. Examples include "ten things I must remember to do to fail my exams," "twelve recommendations that would virtually squelch my chances of ever getting a promotion," "five things I must remember to do to spoil my relationships with others," "ten favorite anxieties I can't live without," "twelve worries I want to indulge in from now until death do us part," "five myths I want to keep believing about myself so I can enjoy depression," "seven myths and seven realities about my fear of success," and "three reasons why undue guilt is good for me."

You can also take the Humorous Sentence Completion Blank test which I have included on the next two pages. [NOTE: the Humorous Sentence Completion Blank test was my last blog post, found here]

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