The benefits of laughter in the workplace
By Greg Price
I often attribute laughter with individuals who are comfortable with themselves, have an authentic view of the self, and are viewed in a positive light by others. These characteristics can be considered a form of authentic leadership. On the surface, this leadership approach appears easy to understand and deliver, yet it incorporates self-knowledge, self-regulation, and self-concept: ideas that form positive personality traits through conviction and applied perspectives from personal experiences.
The Healthy Side to Workplace Laughter
Life is serious and work is, well, business, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t laugh along the way. There are many health benefits to laughing in the workplace and numerous studies prove it. So how does this get us from here to there in the day to day? Here is a list of benefits as to why laughter may be productivity’s best medicine.
- Reduces Stress and Boosts Your Immunity
The scientific side of laughter is that when you laugh, muscles contract which increases blood flow, sending more oxygen to your cells. An additional natural side of this is that endorphins are released helping you feel more relaxed. And forgo the daily booster shot at your local smoothie bar. Instead, laugh more! The power of positive thinking – that’s what this is. Studies have shown that laughter increases a type of white blood cell that attacks cancer cells. Laughter – a natural cancer killer!
- Creates Resilience
Resilience means staying the course amid negative outcomes. Negativity, failure, and depressing occurrences all enter our lives. Yet, it’s how we deal with this side of our emotion that provides balance to our lives. The idea of laughing at mistakes helps us develop resilience and the capacity to forge ahead. And, the more you laugh, the more resilience you develop.
- Fights Depression
Ugh! Who needs depression in their life? There are two takes to this one. Dictate what you wish from life, or let life guide your emotions. I prefer the former where laughter develops a happy pattern that helps you see your own situation rather than allowing yourself to feel victim to it. The brain releases active agents that improve your mood.
- A Coping Mechanism to Pain
This is another mood swing element. Laughter cannot eliminate pain, but it can reduce how much you may be bothered by it. Laughter is a coping mechanism. It helps to lessen your discomfort.
- Watch a comedy movie
- Read a funny book
- Share funny stories with family and friends
- Ever heard of laughing yoga?
- Be silly. Cultivate the experience and practice your ability
- Finally, know when to laugh – laughing at the expense of another is not medicinal laughter.
For additional workplace humor, check out these links:
- Leading with Laughter
- 20 Leadership Quotes to Make You Laugh
- 3 Big Reasons Humor Benefits Your Leadership
- [Video] Leading with Laughter: The Power of Humor in Leadership | Paul Osincup | TEDxNapaValley
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