Amy Frost, MBA, MA in Spiritual PsychologyCoach, Life Manager, Triage Specialist, Keynote Speaker, Trainer

Coach, Life Manager, Triage Specialist, Keynote Speaker, Trainer

Humor at Work and in Your Life
Amy Lynn Frost, MBA, MA Spiritual Psychology
with Major Ross D. Bryant, MA

Disclaimer: “I realize that humor isn’t for everyone. Its only for people who want to have fun, enjoy life, and feel alive.”
Anne Wilson Schaef

What is Humor?

According to Webster’s dictionary humor is: boomer, bloomer, rumor, tumor, perfumer, and consumer (OOPS wrong book -- that’s from the Penguin Rhyming Dictionary). According to Webster humor is: Amusing; comic, comical, droll, factious, funny, jocular, ludicrous, sportive, witty. This all sounds very good until somebody gets pied in the face. BUT, how do YOU define what is funny to everybody? The answer is you can’t. Humor is a very personal choice or way of viewing the world. Alan Watts says, “I am serious in life but I am not serious about it.”

We are not dictating what humor is to you but perhaps some different ways of looking at life through humorous lenses.

Who is a Humorist?

Webster again: One who displays humor -- a whimsical person. What the heck does that mean? We all have the ability to laugh and be funny in our own way. The true test is do I have the courage to dare to be my funny Self.

Why should you use humor in your day-to-day life?

We are equipped with a built-in safety valve to keep us from exploding in the pressure cooker of life. That safety valve is a sense of humor.

Why use humor?
  • To have fun. Giggle regularly
  • It is good for your health. “Laughter is inner jogging.” Norman Cousins
  • To not take life so seriously.
  • Deal with your upset and anger constructively.
  • Deal with a difficult person.
  • Help your coworkers and clients cope with challenging situations .
  • Overcome tragedy.

The Funeral: Rob’s grandfather Ben had died. After Rob returned from the funeral Ross asked how did everything go. Rob said, “It was GREAT!” He was a little shocked, how could a funeral be GREAT?

Rob explained how his Grandfather had been the family clown and patriarch of humor. When the family got to the cathedral for the funeral, they were all presented with their Grandfathers final request. You see he never wanted anyone to mourn his death, but instead celebrate his life. At the door, a gentleman handed everyone GROUCHO MARX noses and glasses. Two hundred people sat in the church pews wearing these glasses and stared at a open casket of Grandpa Ben, who also wore the glasses. The eulogy was a JOKE recital of Grandpa's greatest jokes. By the end, everyone was in tears not from crying but from LAUGHING!

  • Handle nervousness -- getting on an airplane, making a presentatoin, going to the doctor’s office, etc.
  • Helps you deal with stress
  • It is an ice breaker for meeting new people
  • Deal with embarrassing moments. Turn them into stories to learn from and laugh about later. Years from now we will laugh about this. Why not NOW!!!!!!!

“Life is more amusing than we thought” Andrew Long

What do you feel humor is??????

One way to discover this is to look around your life and see what is funny to you. What kind of movies, books, and TV shows do you find funny? Who or what makes you laugh? Why? Why do certain comedians crack you up, when others are not funny to you at all? Start your own “humor” journal. Write down things you found funny through the course of the day. This will move your focus to that of humor and you will see what you find funny at the same time.

How do you know if you need more humor in your life?

Answer the following questions:

Are you frequently asked, “Did your best friend just die?”

Is your favorite TV channel PBS?

Is the Grinch your mentor?

Does your natural facial expression scare children or make dogs bark?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, seek help from a professional comedian immediately.

How we experience and express humor is unique to each and everyone of us. In our work, we have discovered that humor is a tool and we can use it when and how we choose to. I detect some nonbelievers out there. Come on put your buts, I can’ts and “I not funnies” away. Let’s step into our funny Selves together.

Here are some simple ways to lighten up your life:
  • Cut out and add cartoons to your daily planner, on your refrigerator, or on your calendar.
  • Sing in the shower or car
  • Wear a funny hat, T-shirt, earring, etc.
  • Change your phone message to an upbeat message.
  • Have people email/mail, call and tell you jokes.
  • Listen to funny tapes/CDs, watch funny movies and TV
Get and give funny cards
Spend time with fun people

In working/mentoring lots of people on using humor, we have found a process that helps. There is no set sequence. Do what works for you and how it works for you.

How to Tap into your humorous self:

If it is at someone's expense; it is NOT humor
You need to be open to using humor.
Look for what is humorous in this situation and what could be done or said to bring that out.
Have funny things around you -- quotes, mugs, figurines.
Have confidence in your ability to be funny; if you don’t have it start building it today.
You have to be “fearless”. Have the courage to be funny.
Strike while the iron is hot. Remember all those times you’d said “Man I wish I had said that”.
You have to establish reference points. Find common terms and experiences.

What can you do to tap into your humorous self? What would your next step be? Using humor is a skill and it takes commitment, practice and letting go of the believe that “I am not funny”.

Go for it -- what have you got to lose but that sad old face and attitude that others love so much?