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037: Neurohumorist Karyn Buxman on the Healing Power of Humor

Uninvisible Pod

037: Neurohumorist Karyn Buxman on the Healing Power of Humor

Karyn Buxman is a neurohumorist (living at the intersection of the brain and humor), author, researcher, keynoter, coach, and TEDx speaker. For the last 30 years, she has worked with…
August 28, 2019

037: Neurohumorist Karyn Buxman on the Healing Power of Humor

Karyn Buxman is a neurohumorist (living at the intersection of the brain and humor), author, researcher, keynoter, coach, and TEDx speaker. For the last 30 years, she has worked with clients like NASA, the Mayo Clinic, Cigna, and 800+ others to empower with healthy humor. She runs custom retreats at her HumorLab in San Diego, and focuses on high performers in the ROI of laughter. She is quick to distinguish that humor ≠ comedy. Her next book, Funny Means Money: Strategic Humor for Influence & World Domination is due to be published by Forbes Books in winter 2020. 

Tune in as Karyn shares… 

– what it means to be a neurohumorist 

– the relationship between humor and health 

– Norman Cousins’ story, and how it inspired her research 

– the range of people she works with – from patients to professionals, employees to employers 

– that she is working on a new book for Forbes Books – about humor and influence 

– that humor is a whole-brain process that fires off a cascade of neurotransmitters 

– that humor has the power to heal, connect, and enlighten 

– that humor is a holistic complementary process in healing – it reduces inflammation, which is known to exacerbate disease 

– the cardiovascular benefits of laughter – it is an aerobic exercise 

– that laughter can increase the healing properties of the blood – studies have shown that it increases the presence of IgA and T-killer cells, as well as an increased general immune response (in both the short-term and long-term) 

– that laughter = better blood pressure 

– that the regular practice of healthy humor lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol 

– that healthy humor can aid in the release of tension, as well as increase one’s tolerance to pain 

– that humor lowers cortisol, and can lower blood glucose among pre-diabetic and diabetic patients 

– that laughter can reduce the occurrence of kidney disease among diabetes patients 

– that humor can influence epigenetics 

– that what we do in medicine isn’t working across the board – and if we know laughter and healthy humor works, it’s worth adding into a holistic health regimen 

– that humor decreases anxiety, and increases creativity 

– the close relationship between laughter and tears – and why both are healthy 

– that humor can allow us to express anger and frustration in a socially-acceptable way 

– that just thinking about humor can have the same effect on the brain that humor does – it has an anticipatory effect 

– Victor Borge’s quote: “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people” – and Karyn’s addition, “Laughter has no accent” – it can connect one and all 

– that laughter releases oxytocin, which is a bonding hormone 

– the importance of communication, and how bad for the physiology isolation can be 

– that exhibiting humor increases likeability, which is important for influence and connection 

– her personal connection to invisible illness: through her sons and her mother 

– that laughter can help us change our relationship to illness: from victim to victor 

– the 2% solution: 2% of 24 hrs is 10 min. Can we dedicate that time to healing? 

– her tip to share humor every day: print some funny postcards and send one a day to a friend 

– her belief that some insurance providers are beginning to see the value of being well (in other words, preventive care) 

– the importance of collaboration … and of being the squeaky wheel 

– the importance of intentionally choosing humor 

– the distinction between humor and comedy 

– that if we seek humor, we can rewire ourselves to see it everywhere 

– consistency trumps commitment – make an agreement with yourself to seek humor for 10 minutes each day 

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