Have you been exhausted, worried, or just plain stressed lately? Do you sometimes wonder how you are going to cope with balancing home and workplace challenges? This is your lucky day! Step right up for a sure-fire remedy guaranteed to bring vitality and energy to your everyday life. You will be amazed by the advantages of the humour tonic. But be warned: humour is more than the snake-oil skill of telling jokes. Ah yes! the humour tonic is an intoxicating mix of many secret ingredients. And each humour being requires a slightly different prescription.
What is humour exactly? The dictionary defines ‘humour’ as the quality that makes something amusing or laughable. The word ‘humour’ by itself, without any sense as in ‘sense of humour,’ is defined in the dictionary as the ‘quality that makes something amusing or laughable.’ When you bring a ‘sense’ to humour a metamorphosis occurs. A sense of humour is the capacity of a human being to respond to life challenges with optimistic enjoyment.
In over 20 years devoted to the field of humour studies, I have found that there are numerous researches and theories about humour and how to ‘get it’. When writing my first book, Using Humor to Maximize Learning, I realised that there were numerous characteristics associated with humour that had not been defined, so I coined and defined the term humergy.
Humergy is the energy that emerges from the joy and optimism of our inner spirit. It reflects our unique personality, and nourishes a healthy mind/body balance.
It’s possible to clarify the characteristics that inhibit humergy and those that promote its development. Stress, fear, and pessimism hinder the ability of an individual to enjoy the fullness of a humergy lifestyle. Healthy relationships, optimism, and an environment of trust nurture the growth of humergy. This energy is being explored in the several fields including that of positive psychology, which addresses the study of positive emotions. Numerous researchers in various fields of endeavour are exploring brain health and the impact of humour on our lives. The tonic of humour is actually available free of charge. Beware of the side effects of laughter and fun. Severe laughter side effects may include tears—sometimes running down the legs. The experience of humergy is observed when enthusiasm, excitement, and energy are bubbling from individuals who are passionate about their work. This synergy is experienced in an environment that is humming with the spirit of joyful learning.
In my work, I encourage purposeful humour practice. Here are a few ideas for you when trying the humour tonic:
Integrate play into your practice
Don’t be afraid of being silly or looking ridiculous. Humour practice often takes courage! My own humour practice includes a bike ride to the playground to spend time on the swings. Flying through the air brings laughter to my whole being. It is also great exercise!
Keep a humour journal
Notice when and how often you laugh and at the end of each day jot down the things that made you laugh. This practice will encourage you to relish the humour tonic experienced each day and help you to remember to take more frequent doses.
Share your humour tonic
Hang around with others who have humergy. Humour is contagious. Catch it and spread it!
Everyone can add fun, laughter, and play into their life. Begin with the goal of increasing your humergy level, reducing stress, and bringing your best self to life every day. Let the tonic of humour add years to your life and life to your years!
This was first published in the November 2012 issue of Complete Wellbeing.
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