This article marks the end of a 3 1/2-month long series of articles devoted to helping you first improve your sense of humor and then learn to use humor to cope with the stress in your life.
The original radio broadcast series (along with these accompanying articles) was based on my 7 Humor Habits Program, published in my book, Humor as Survival Training for a Stressed-Out World: The 7 Humor Habits Program. After finishing the article you’re reading now, go back and check out the entire series of articles. To give yourself extra motivation to boost your sense of humor starting today, you may want to first read the articles at this website found under “Physical Health” and “Emotional Resilience and Coping.” If you then decide you want to boost your own sense of humor, as so many others have now done, go back to the original (January 23) article under “Senior Humor Training.” After reading that article, take the “Sense of Humor” pre-test included in the February 3 article. You can then jump right in and start (or repeat) your training with the February 10 article.
How you can Benefit from the Articles at this Website
The key to success with this program is spending an entire week practicing the exercises and activities suggested for each Humor Habit. You can use the articles published here as a short course on learning to boost your sense of humor. The research evidence on this first-of-a-kind Humor Intervention suggests that in order for the program to have the strongest–and longest-lasting–impact, the exercises and habit-building exercises need to to be done in a systematic fashion over an 8-week period, as discussed in the Training Manual. Only a limited number of humor-building exercises are provided in these articles, but you will certainly make some gains by following the guidelines provided between February 10 and April 27. Once you’ve spent several weeks working on your sense of humor in this informal fashion, you can then decide if you want to purchase the Humor Training Manual that is presented in my book, Humor as Survival Training for a Stressed-Out World: The 7 Humor Habits Program. You’ll want to have a partner going through the Humor Training with you, since having someone to talk to each week as you move through the program boosts the amount of progress you make.
To achieve the maximal gains, get a copy of Humor as Survival Training for a Stressed-Out World and follow the full Humor Training Program provided there.
If you’re Reading this after Completing the 7HHP
Take the Sense of Humor test again now. (Click on “older posts” at the bottom of this page.) Remember, the research suggests that the gains you make in completing the 7HHP are directly related to the time and effort you put into cultivating the Humor Habits. These articles have shown you the path, but actively engaging your sense of humor—doing the exercises I’ve suggested—is the key to successfully using humor to cope and boosting your daily happiness in life.
What does the Research Show Regarding the Impact of this Humor Training Program?
The exciting thing about this Humor Training Program is that it works! Tests of the 7 Humor Habits Program have been completed in the USA, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Iran and Australia and positive outcomes have been consistently reported. With a couple of exceptions, these studies were conducted by researchers in university setting with proper control groups. If you would like to receive a copy (via e-mail) of the actual research report from one of these studies (the one from Australia), just e-mail me with a request for it. If you’re not used to reading research articles, it will be a tough read, but you’ll get a good sense of just how rigorously and carefully this program has been tested.
Here is a summary of the evidence obtained so far on the 7 Humor Habits Program. All of this research is discussed (references included) in the Appendix of Humor as Survival Training for a Stressed-Out World. Remember, that these findings are based on participants going through the Program on a systematic basis, as outlined in the manual for the Program. If you go through the program focusing only on the exercises included in this series of articles, your gains may be reduced.
Research-Documented Impact of the 7 Humor Habits Program
1) Improved scores on McGhee’s Sense of Humor Test
2) Improved scores on other measures of using humor to cope
3) Improved ability to cope with life stress
4) Stronger playful attitude
5) Increased positive mood, optimism, life satisfaction and “trait cheerfulness”
6) Increased perceived control over one’s emotional state (the ability to control one’s emotional state—and the emotions of others if you’re a manager/boss—a key part of emotional intelligence)
7) Reduced stress
8) Reduced depression
9) Reduced anxiety
It is very clear that your sense of humor is a powerful tool for boosting your emotional resilience. This is your biological heritage. If you’re not using this tool effectively in your own life, the 7 Humor Habits Program shows you the path for learning to do so. So I hope you’ll join with the many others who have been learning to lighten up in their daily life.
Remember, “They who laugh, last!” Have fun as you go through the Program. Again, be sure to have a partner go through it with you if you can. People who do this make greater gains.
Copyright owned by Paul McGhee. This article may not be reproduced without written permission granted by Paul McGhee.