People’s states of health and wellness are serious subjects, but how you communicate important information related to them doesn’t have to be. In fact, adding some humor to your health messages likely will make them more effective and can have an immediate effect on a person’s disposition and overall health.
According to various studies, humor may:
- Relax muscles
- Reduce stress hormones
- Reduce pain
- Enhance the immune system
You can incorporate humor into your health and wellness communications through both the words and images that you use.
Humorous writing how-to
You don’t have to be a comedian to add the funny element to your content. Find easy, subtle ways to sprinkle in humorous writing without it getting in the way of message. Here are a few ideas:
- Add a parenthetical. “You may want to limit the number of sweet treats you eat to one serving daily. (No, a dozen doughnuts doesn’t count as one serving, sorry).”
- Get creative with a cliché. “You can lead a horse to the gym, but you can’t make him exercise.”
- Use a comparison. “You may not want to skip breakfast or you may find yourself as hungry as a bear waking up from hibernation by the time lunch comes around.”
- Find funny quotes. Borrow what others have said, as long as you properly attribute the words. “I tried every diet in the book. I tried some that weren’t in the book. I tried eating the book. It tasted better than most of the diets.” — Dolly Parton. (Here’s a free booklet of “101 Most Wonderful, Humorous and Inspiring Quotes on Life and Health.”)
Include interesting images
In addition to witty writing, you may want to use funny illustrations. Cartoons can carry with them a certain power that can’t be conveyed in words alone. Humorous illustrations can deliver potentially offensive messages related to negative behaviors without insulting readers and causing them to “tune out.” Seeing a hummingbird that’s overweight from drinking too much nectar may be more effective to communicate the idea of limiting sugar intake than showing an actual person devouring a dessert.
You can add humorous writing and cartoons/funny illustrations to any health and wellness communication:
- Newsletter articles
- Email messages
- Social-media posts
For a more detailed look at how humorous illustrations can effectively convey health and wellness information to a broad audience, check out these FREE resources:
- White paper, “The Case for Cartoons in Health and Wellness Communication”
- White paper, “Why Humor Works in Workplace Wellness Communication”
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