By Sunny Simon
Every year, right after Christmas, I hole up in my office reflecting on the past year and creating my goals for the next twelve months. Wait! Don’t stop reading, I’m not going to bore you with what you already know about how to create a list of things you want to accomplish in 2018. Instead, I’d like to share some information about one item on my list.
Next year I’m aspiring to the status of humorholic. The inspiration came to me by reading a rather dated book filled with wisdom. In 1998, humorist, Larry Wilde, published “When You’re Up to Your Eyeballs in Alligators: How to Use Your Sense of Humor for Unlimited Success, Better Health & Staying Sane When the World Gets a Little Crazy.
Larry’s book regaling the multiple benefits of humor convinced me to develop this skill. We all know that laughter is a timeless wonder drug, but listen up all you people who join a gym, Jenny Craig or Weight Watcher’s every January. (All good things of course). But, did you know that during a solid belly laugh we lose 35 calories? Just think, if you do that internal jogging brought on by tickling your funny bone 15 times/day you can burn 525 calories. (As Larry puts it, “You can laugh your ass off.”)
Another prominent by-product of humor is enhanced immunity. Scientific evidence indicates there are physical and chemical links between the mind and the immune system. Back in 2012, studies at Loma Linda University revealed that watching a comedy video strengthens your immune system in measureable ways.
How about reducing your stress level? There is nothing silly about the fact that laughter reduces hormones that cause stress. Perhaps the reason most optimists are healthy people is a positive state of mind keeps healthy people well and also speeds up the recovery process in those who are ill.
For those of you placing extra focus on your career in the coming year, note a study done by executive recruiting firm Robert Half International revealed individuals with a sense of humor do better at their jobs than those with little or no active funny bone. Looking to get that promotion? In addition to all your hard work, try making your boss and your peers laugh more.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. (Being blonde, that one’s a no-brainer for me.) Self-deprecating humor is a powerful force in bonding with others.
So, if your convinced becoming a humorholic will improve many areas of your life, add it to your list just like I did. Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at www.raisethebarhigh.com