Humor falls under the virtue category of Transcendence. Transcendence describes strengths that provide a broad sense of connection to something higher in meaning and purpose than ourselves.
Humor involves the ability to make other people smile or laugh. It also means having a composed and cheerful view on adversity that allows an individual to see its light side and thereby sustain a good mood.
Using Carol Burnett To Build Humor
Laugh a lot, with others.
Exercises for Boosting Humor
Write down the humor of your everyday life. Each day make a conscious effort to be aware of your sense of humor, others’ sense of humor, funny situations, and clever comments and record them in a daily journal.
Watch a funny sitcom/ movie or read a comic/funny blog daily.
Zorba the Greek
Movies are an art-form highly suited for inspiring character strengths and helping in the discovery, understanding and exploration of these positive aspects in human beings. Ryan Niemiec (VIA's education director) and Danny Wedding explore 1,500 examples in their book Positive Psychology at the Movies, 2nd edition (2014). They explain that the best positive psychology movies meet the following criteria:
- Strong portrayal of a character's signature strengths which are critical to the character's identity;
- Depicts conflict/obstacles that challenge the character;
- The character uses strengths to overcome the adversity;
- The film's overall presentation is uplifting or speaks deeply to the human condition.
- The film holds great potential to generate cinematic elevation (i.e., it causes people to feel motivated to do good and increases their altruism) or cinematic admiration (i.e., it causes people to want to improve themselves and copy the model).
Always Look On the Bright Side of Life – Monty Python
The Hokey Pokey – Brave Combo
I Wanna Soak up the Sun – Sheryl Crow
Octopus’s Garden – Beatles
Chalk Dust Torture – Pfish
Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da – Beatles
Put On a Happy Face – Tony Bennet