Laughter Is The Best Medicine—Or Is It?

They say that laughter is the best medicine. Science says it is one of the best tools we have for dealing with stress, and can even be a potent endorphin releaser. I remember incidents where laughter got me through difficult life events, and some of my favourite memories include me laughing. It is especially useful while juggling work and family commitments, but only when we seek it out.

Opposing Views

The lead author of a study led by The Australian National University (ANU), Dr. David Cheng, says, “—it’s all about whether you are in control of the situation and can seek out a distraction when you need it.”

Our ability to control our reactions to workplace humour has taken a hit, as a lot of people have been able to tune out their colleagues while working from home over the past year. Moreover, our ability to understand nuance when someone is joking is much harder to interpret over a screen.

Health Benefits of Laughing

New evidence indicates that laughter improves blood vessel function, which means it’s good for your heart and brain which need a steady supply of oxygen. There are many other reasons why you should laugh more and here are a few more, it:

Burns calories

Decreases stress hormones

Improves immunity

Releases pain-reducing endorphins

Plus, it’s free and is the best therapy any time of the day!

Adding Laughter to the Workplace

The idea of humor in the workplace is fairly new and leadership doesn’t have to be dry and business-like during employee interactions. Nowadays, employees like working for, and with, a leader with a sense of humour who is vulnerable enough, and  enjoys, showcasing their funny side. If you want to introduce laughter to your office, here are a few tips:

– Develop rituals — Start meetings with a humorous story or end them by asking questions where the answers may get the giggles going.

– Send a humorous story or joke of the day — Forward light or humorous emails or memes, or introduce a ‘Chonk of the Day’ cat picture for extra levity.

– Host fun events — Create ‘fun days’ where employees have the opportunity to express their funny side such as fancy dress or themed dress up days or team bonding sessions where funny photos of our younger selves are shared.

Studies have found incorporating humour at work allows for a better overall work environment that increases employee satisfaction and productivity.

Humour and laughter are just two of a number of ways my team interacts. It’s something that works for us and I believe it will work for you too. If you’re interested in learning more about how to foster a positive, happier work environment for your employees, consider subscribing to my newsletter or follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn.

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