In his new book Motivate THIS!: How to Start Each Day with an Unstoppable Attitude to Succeed Regardless of Your Circumstances, professional stand-up comedian and Speaker Hall of Fame inductee Steve Rizzo shares strategies for overcoming the negativity bias that’s programmed into us in childhood and retraining our brains to think more positively in order to reach our goals. One of the methods he endorses is “unleashing the power of your Humor Being.” According to Rizzo, your Humor Being is that part of yourself that enables you to access your sense of humor in order to thrive during life’s ups and downs. Rizzo defines “sense of humor” in a unique way, one that helps readers view it as an actual mental tool for reshaping their outlook: “a sense of humor means to be aware that you have a mental quality to turn your mind in an unusual way, or a need to produce joyful or absurd ideas that can soothe your being.”
Pause on that idea for a second: a mental quality—to turn your mind—in an unusual way. It’s easy to dismiss advice like “laugh it off” as trite or perhaps even unrealistic—though to be sure, Rizzo never actually phrases it that way. But what Rizzo is offering here is much more profound, for he’s teaching readers how to reprogram their brains—actually setting into play physiological and neurological changes—so that they can shift (or cognitively turn) into a place of joy during times of stress, sadness, or frustration. Doing so generates positive energy that then enables them to focus on attaining their goals. Indeed, as Dr. Sherrie Bourg Carter explains, “laughter releases the neurotransmitter dopamine, which serves as a reward for the brain, creates a sense of euphoria, and plays a pivotal role in our motivation to continue the behavior.”
So how can you unleash the power of your Humor Being? Here are some ideas:
Find something to laugh about as soon as you wake up in the morning. This will set a positive and energizing tone for the day. As Rizzo notes, though, it’s important to continue to employ your sense of humor throughout the day.
If you’re feeling stressed or upset, take time to observe your surroundings and identify something humorous. Finding a reason to chuckle will initiate electrochemical reactions in your brain that will help you feel better physically and emotionally.
If you can’t find levity in your immediate surroundings, use your imagination to envision humorous scenarios.
Share inoffensive GIFs and memes to enliven your workplace and mitigate both major and minor tensions there. As Rizzo suggests, laughter significantly boosts employee productivity and morale.
Help yourself deal with stress or negativity and recharge your battery by carving out time to go to a comedy club or watch a funny sitcom or movie.
These practices will help you get in sync with your Humor Being, improving what Rizzo terms your “humor insights,” which will activate during difficult or mundane times and help motivate you to conquer any obstacles and actualize your dreams.
How do you use humor to motivate you? Do you have any strategies for accessing your Humor Being other than those listed above? Share in the comments below!