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Why you should take yourself less seriously | Paul Osincup | TEDxMontanaStateUniversity

Jun 08, 2024
I was going to give a talk about the power of optimism and positivity and then I thought, "Oh, what good will that do?" But what if I told you that there was a habit that anyone could develop that could actually make you more optimistic and more positive and reduce, relieve stress and improve your resilience, it is called a habit of humor and I will show you how you can rewire your brain to develop your sense of humor and turn it into a powerful and strategic tool of mindfulness. I mean, after all, they say when life gives you lemons, go for it. lemonade, right, have you ever tried lemonade made only with lemons?
why you should take yourself less seriously paul osincup tedxmontanastateuniversity
That makes things better. Hey, there's a cold glass of citric acid. No, to make lemonade, you also need a sweetener and humor is a sweetener for life. Develop a habit of humor, specifically using humor to deal with life's problems. Struggles can actually lead to decreased stress, can

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en the impact of even traumatic events, can increase overall life satisfaction, including job satisfaction, and lead to a greater sense of resilience and psychological well-being, but not always. It's easy at first. I talk and study on the topic of applied humor and get caught up in taking my job, myself, and my life too

seriously

.
why you should take yourself less seriously paul osincup tedxmontanastateuniversity

More Interesting Facts About,

why you should take yourself less seriously paul osincup tedxmontanastateuniversity...

I remember early in my career I had this great opportunity to speak at this conference, there was going to be everyone. these big corporate industry wigs there, so they called me up with my business cards in my pocket and I thought I was going to network like no one else before anyone who remotely made eye contact with me pulled a business card out of my pocket. It was like, hey, my name is Paul, I'd love to do business with you, hey, my name is Paul, call me sometime and I remember I was talking to this executive and when he started walking away, I go, hey, wait, I reach for my pocket. and at some point I called me and I gave him the key to my hotel room and he said, oh, that escalated quickly and I was like, oh God, no, no, and my face turned red, my neck turned red, I was very embarrassed and was punishing myself. ended and it was no big deal, he was a good guy and kept our room clean, huh, but it was clearly a fun time, but my brain was telling me a different story, my brain was interpreting it as if I were the lead actor in some drama and I had just ruined my big shot and I had ruined everything.
why you should take yourself less seriously paul osincup tedxmontanastateuniversity
I think sometimes I suffer from a condition where my brain doesn't produce enough of that humor sweetener to be able to see humor in real time in life and the more I've done this work the more I realize that there are millions of other people who suffer from the same condition, it is a condition that I call chronic severity and there is a massive subsection of people around the world who suffer from chronic severity and those people are called adults, so if you or someone you know If you are an adult or may become an adult, chronic severity could also be affecting your life, but you are not alone because in a Gallup poll of more than 1.4 million people in 166 countries they found that our ability to laugh is simply immersed in By the time we reach age 23 and don't start holding back those laughs again until we're almost 80, that's 50+ years of chronic seriousness and a 50e drought of humor and laughter, we're literally limiting our own access to a resilience tool that is built into the human psyche it's as if, for some reason, at some point between our Ence announcement and our first new employee orientation, we lost the ability to find humor in something, I mean, as we started the transition from football practices to best practices. and playground slides to PowerPoint slides and teddy bears to Ted Talks, suddenly it's like we have jobs, now everything has to feel crucially serious and we start drinking four-shot lattes and milkshakes. soft grass and even the way we talk about where it is put. super serious and we were like, hey, I have to jump on a call because I have a tough stop, so shoot me an email, we'll tackle that drill, we'll refine the details, we've got a lot of balls in the air and irons. into the fire, so we'll cast a wide net, climb the flagpole, dive deep and see if we can move the needle, so keep grinding and crushing and killing it, and we'll all circle back while we zoom in.
why you should take yourself less seriously paul osincup tedxmontanastateuniversity
It is exhausting. It is exhausting. and suddenly our life begins to seem much more like an intense drama than a comedy, but we can combat chronic seriousness with humor. I mean, there's a lot of research on how good humor is for us and we've all heard your advice. I just need to

take

things

less

seriously

or be able to laugh at things, but the problem is that no one tells us how to do it, for example, how do I develop my sense of humor? When am I supposed to laugh at things when I close the keys? my rental car in the trunk before returning it to the airport as if it were nonsense, no, I'm going crazy, but there are numerous humorous interventions that you can learn to rewire your brain to see the humor, the absurdity and the joy of life . more frequently, for example this week, for 7 days in a row, write down three things each day that you find funny or amusing, and researchers at the University of Zurich found that people who did this for just one week increased their overall happiness and decreased depressive symptoms for up to six months and it doesn't have to be something that made you laugh out loud, maybe it just made you think, oh, that's really funny, and what's more, doing something like that starts to train your brain to look for fun moments throughout the day. uh eventually what will happen is you'll be doing this exercise and something will happen during your day that would normally agitate you, make you angry, upset you and you'll think to

yourself

, I'll write this down later and that's when I know your brain has made the connection. that, like hey, wait, even if you're not laughing yet, there may be humor in this situation, by taking that possible madness from a nine to a seven, another humorous intervention is called humorous reappraisal and we know that the cognitive one.
Reappraisal, reframing negative, stressful, even traumatic situations, in a more positive way is a great resilience tool, but humorous reappraisal, reframing these same situations using humor, can actually lead to an even greater increase in positive emotions and an even greater decrease in negative emotions, so you can try humorous reappraisal using a The game is called What You Could Have Said Game. Many times stressful things happen and we don't really get the mood in the moment and then we think about what we could have done or said. That's a great tool, so get started. with everyday stressors, anything that can happen, you're in an important meeting at work with the leadership team where you work and you're going to make a brilliant comment, but you spill your coffee all over the table and now you're just embarrassed you're apologizing profusely oh my god, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, you couldn't even get across what a great point you were going to make and then you're thinking, man, I don't know why I got so nervous.
I wish I could have handled that with a little levity or some humor. Well, go ahead, what would you have said? What would you do? Maybe you spill your coffee and say, "Okay, it's just half and half, half on the table." on my lap it doesn't even matter if what comes to mind immediately makes you laugh because you're just training your brain to associate those negative experiences, those stressful experiences with humor and what will happen is you'll think about playing the game of what could be said a couple of days later and then you'll think about playing it a day later and then a few hours later until finally your brain makes those humorous connections closer to real time than hindsight, so there are a lot of humorous interventions that people can do and it could be very difficult to do them and exploit your struggles for nuggets of humor at first, but you can

take

these humorous interventions and you can overlay them with some of the timeless techniques of comedy, like for example escalating or exaggeration, you just take your stressful situation and you elevate it to a ridiculous extreme until it becomes silly or funny to you, so let's say your car breaks down and you're starting to get stressed, you text home like the car is broken. down I've been waiting for a toe for two hours uh I'll be home as soon as I can and the stress levels are rising you're starting to freak out turn it up exaggerate make it ridiculous send another text I'll be home as soon as I can tell the kids , I love you, I wish you luck in college.
Send me photos when you have grandchildren. This absurd exaggeration provides immediate insight into the relative importance of that moment in time. And I, in a workshop we were having on humor reappraisal, there was a A woman who was remembering a situation at work where everyone was going out for a team lunch and an email was sent with a new location for the lunch. team up. She sent everyone away except herself and ended up having lunch alone at a restaurant on the other side. Town with the rest of her colleagues had a fun lunch together and she remembered that she wanted to think it was no big deal because everyone was so apologetic and very nice about it and she knew it wasn't on purpose, but rather her brain turned it into a drama Her brain wouldn't let it go and she told him to hold on to that grievance.
She returned to the office and gave her colleagues the silent treatment. She said she wishes she had laughed at it. You handled it. with some lightness, maybe I even made a joke when he returned to the office so that his mood would rethink what I might have said, the game he came up with was to come back to the office and say it was great, that's the first hour that I had. myself in 20 years or have made splitting the check much easier, there are tons of mindfulness strategies that help us reduce stress or improve well-being, such as yoga meditation, breath work, but for some Those people are simply not enough or they are not the right ones.
They don't fit or require too many essential oils, it's been almost 10 years since I accidentally gave that executive the hotel room key and believe it or not, that guy never spoke again. I mean, I wish I could have ended this in a happy way. a little bow to you, but it's not a Hallmark movie, it's life and sometimes we just screw things up and it's okay, it's even funny, but our brains try to tell us a different story, they make it seem like a big dramatic moment, a big dramatic failure or misstep in our lives when in reality it's just a funny footnote, so just like learning a musical instrument or a foreign language, you can develop a sense of humor and, like any new skill, Humor is not a talent, humor is a habit and by developing a habit of humor, you could train your brain to see the absurd and funny in life more often and learn to experience humor not just by chance but by choice. , so don't choose to live your life as an actor in a drama only to reach the end and discover

yourself

. you were the director and it could have been a comedy thanks

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