Take a cue from comedians. Learn how to find humor in the everyday. Self-Worth Analyst, Karen Eddington explains how laughter can help us stop and enjoy the moment.
Laughing brings self-acceptance. Laughing can help you enjoy the present. Laughing heals.
Define Humor: What’s behind the chuckle
People laugh when there is “a connecting truth + surprise” or “a good feeling + the unexpected.” Carol Burnett calls humor “tragedy plus time.” Sometimes there is a fine line between comedy and tragedy. The middle area is often laced with sarcasm. Which is expressing an opposite phrase like, “I love leftover meatloaf” while you’re really feeling contempt.
Laughing can help you enjoy the present
Monotony. Routines. Monday’s. There are times we wish our lives away, we zone out, or we let our mind run. When we are at home we think about work. When we are at work we think about home. Laughing can help us stop and see what is happening in the moment. Learn to put a humorous voice to things that are routine or difficult. In order to do this you need to pay attention.
Comedy technique #1 MISDIRECTION
(diverting the present in order to create a “surprise”)
Comedians use something called the rule of 3 in order to surprise you and make you laugh. The first two examples are there to set you up to expect the same things while the third becomes your punch line. Misdirection can help you ease tension, see the little things, and see the joy in your life.
This is the formula. Fill in the blank using your own experience.
Being a (your current role) is hard. 1.(serious) 2.(serious) 3. (the unexpected answer)
Examples. Look for the rule of 3, the unexpected answers are bold.
“Being a mom is hard. Laundry. Dishes. Pulling Mr. Potato Head’s lips out of the electrical socket.”
“Being a student is hard. Lectures. Homework. Going an entire class without using your cell phone.”
“Being married is hard. We try to appreciate each other. We take time to say ‘I love you.’ And we both have become a master in the art of the garbage can smash down, so we don’t have to be the one to take it out.”
Laughter brings self-acceptance
Big feet. Frizzy hair. Being a “people pleaser.” Pick a feature, problem, or attribute to look at with a humorist perspective and you can learn to find peace. Comedian Richard Lewis once shared a glimpse into feeling down, “The only way I could feel better was to make light of my low self-esteem, self-loathing, chronic anxiety, and bouts of depression. Once I got laughs for that, I felt less alone, depression was lifted from me, and it made me feel better.”
Comedy technique #2 LIST OF TEN: Turning you Disadvantages into Advantages
(see your so called “tragedies” in a new light- they become helpful to you )
Pick one disadvantage. If you can create a list of 10 reasons your disadvantage is really an advantage you can develop self-acceptance and find contentment with the attributes you have.
Examples to give you ideas:
Big Feet. There are advantages to having big feet, they make you a better swimmer.
I have frizzy hair. There are advantages to having frizzy hair. I do not fear lighting storms.
You think being a people pleaser is bad. No way, you never have to make a decision at a restaurant. “I’ll have what she’s having.”
Check out this example “Plus Sized” example from comedian Kelly Swanson: “There are advantages to being plus-sized. You get to eat whatever you want. My skinny friends only eat grass in moderation… When you’re plus-sized you have LOTS of friends – one, because you have such a good personality – two, because they all look skinny standing beside you – and, three, because when you go out to lunch, you will never guilt them into ordering a salad… Plus-sized mothers are better at protecting their children from danger. I can hide two teenagers and a toddler behind me if push came to shove.” www.kellyswanson.net
If you still need help laughing check out the great comedians you can go see at Wiseguys Comedy Club. Ogden, Trolley Square and West Valley. www.wiseguyscomedy.com
Or if you want to make other people laugh stop by Wiseguys Comedy Club Open Mic every Wednesday with Showtime 7:30pm. Doors open at 6pm. Admission $5.
Karen Eddington is a Self-Worth Analyst and has spent over ten years researching women and teens. She is the author of Today, I Live and is a popular speaker on self-esteem. For more information you can go to www.kareneddington.com