Humor for good health or Coping with Grace and Smile Presented by: Michael Brodie, MBA, NHA
Objectives Improve understanding of positive and negative humor. Increase knowledge of how humor affects our physical, psychological and social wellbeing. Focus on the use of humor for persons with Short Term Memory Loss, and their caregivers. Set out techniques to improve utilization of humor and exposure to humor in daily life. Laugh and tell a few illustrative jokes.
TYPES OF HUMOR Slapstick Getting away with it/getting caught Getting it/puns Surprise Coping/perspective
Humor as Conflict Male vs. Female Old vs. Young Rich vs. Poor City vs. Country (bumpkin jokes) Native vs. foreign (polish jokes) Jewish vs. everybody else (big surprise!!) Black vs. White
HUMOR AS CONFLICT Anatomy of a Punchline: Professor Peter Derks, College of William and Mary, used a pet scan to analyze the brains of people while they were listening to jokes: While the body of the joke was being told, the left side of the brain – the creative side, lit up. The punchline lit up the right side, the logical side, as it searched for the conflict or mismatch to the story. Finally, as the subject “got” the joke, the entire brain was lit up in activity.
Good Humor……..and Bad GOOD Instructive Revealing Truthful Inclusive Reflective Destroys/weakens barriers Creates bonds Decreases discomfort POLITICALLY INCORRECT Reinforcing stereotypes Demeaning Untruthful Exclusive, Elitist Raises/strengthens barriers Lacking redeeming social value Makes someone uncomfortable – Unless it’s your own group!!
Gray Cells’ Anatomy – Theory of the Cave Amygdala: deep in the brain, controls fear Cerebrum, frontal lobe: surface of the brain, controls judgment
Good Humor: It’s not just for breakfast any more. Wellbeing Creativity Learning Motivation Immunity (T Cells) Energy Mental health Tension & stress Anxiety Blood pressure Sensitivity to pain
Gurinder Bains, MD research After watching a 30 minutes humorous video, elderly clients (average age 74) improved: – Learning ability – 38.7% – Delayed recall – 36.1% – Visual recognition – 6%
Mental Health Social skills Relaxation Likeability Friends Enjoyment Perspective Persuasion Romance Adaptability Control
Research of:Tse M, Lo A, Cheng T, Chan A, Chung H Completion of a humor therapy program amongst older persons in a nursing home led to significant decreases in pain, perception of loneliness, and significant increase in happiness and life satisfaction. The program involved social, cognitive and emotional aspects, and stimuli included funny films, jokes, cartoons, and sharing. The SMILE (2009 – UK Dept. of Health) found a 20% reduction in agitation with Humor Therapy, similar to the effect with antipsychotic drugs. – Humor appears to be an effective nonpharmacological intervention.
Care Giver’s Daily Routine… Mortality Depression Morbidity Care Giving Tragedy Tension Denial Frustration Victimization And Care Giving
Laughter is the best exercise Cultivating your sense of humor Laughter and joke clubs The world-wide laughter tour Laughter yoga
Physiology of Laughter Moves diapragm rapidly up and down Exercises the respiratory muscles Inflates the lungs Stimulates the cardiovascular system Increases oxygen in the blood
Biochemistry of Laughter Stimulates brain to produce catecholamine Produces epinephrine and dopamine Releases endorphins into the system Results: – Increased alertness, and eventually increased sense of well-being. – Increased lymphocyte production helping to fight pain and inflammation.
CHILDREN LAUGH 400 TIMES A DAY ADULTS TYPICALLY LAUGH ONLY 15 TIMES A DAY!
Humor that may not be funny… Sarcasm Cover-up and distraction Teasing
The Politics of Humor Humor is a requirement for politicians No sex or ethnic jokes (at least not near a mike) Self deprecation is a solid basis for humor When deprecating others – singe, do not burn And have a very thick skin. Mark Katz,Comedy writer for Bill Clinton and Al Gore
THE SUTBLE EFFECT OF SMILNG A smile is a curve that sets the hole world strait – Phyllis Diller Training babies Criticisim with a smile Practising smiling
What makes centenarians different? Good genes Sense of humor Healthy attitude Realistic expectations Perspective: knowing what’s important Even temperament, generating less stress Ability to find joy and purpose in life
Passing time without short term memory….. I’m Lost I’ve gone to look for myself. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait.
What About Alzheimer’s? People with ST Memory Deficit use humor, if they can – to help themselves, and often to distract from their problem. They fill in the blanks as best they can- sometimes with tragic and sometimes with funny results. Sarcasm & irony are not well understood. Laughter and smiling almost always work well. Laughing at yourself is good for caregiver and loved one. It is more than possible to share humor with a person suffering from ST Memory Deficit.
Humor Technique Self Analysis: What makes you laugh? What makes you grimace? Puns, slapstick, one upmanship, exaggeration, insults, amusing stories, imitations, clowning, puppetry, dirty jokes, filthy & disgusting jokes, cartoons, practical jokes… Know yourself, know your audience!!!
Telling Jokes Exaggerate (sell it), maintain interest and control Act, modulate, use your face (and hands) Don’t rush a punchline – savor and relax Practice before you appear in public Most important: consider your audience for knowledge or sensitivity, and for hearing, visual or cognitive impairment. Jokes are a social and auditory experience!!
Practicing Good Humor Habits Reading: Cartoons, humor books, joke collections, humorous essays Writing: If you think it is funny – record it – as it focuses and extends the effect. Kid’s say the darndest things. Watching television: Sitcoms, not soaps Sharing: humor boards in home and at work
Practicing Good Humor Habits Play games Role Playing Changing the routine, distraction Clowning and puppetry
Practicing Good Humor Habits Finding Humor or Irony Creating your Happy File
Practicing Good Humor Habits Start meetings with humor Raise money with jokes Keep and share scrap books of humor Support the humor of others