It’s been said that “laughter is the best medicine”. It not only can improve physical and mental health, it also strengthens relationships and bonds with others and can even enhance creativity. Best of all, this “medicine” is free and can improve business! Plus, who doesn’t love a good laugh?
Laughing is scientifically shown to promote happiness, reduce stress and offer other physical health benefits. Have you ever laughed so hard you nearly cried? How did you feel after that experience? Probably a lot “lighter” mentally. People often find themselves saying “wow, I needed that”, after a full-belly laugh because laughing has been shown to not only relieve tension and stress in that moment, but the benefits can last for an extended period of time. Laughing induces changes to your mental state and physical changes to your body.
Work, and life in general, can be stressful. Whatever it is that is making your employees tense, clouding their minds or contributing to anxiety, providing opportunities to “laugh it off” for a minute can be powerful. Laughing can help in reducing stress and negative feelings such as anger and anxiety, but it can also can help your employees be more creative, too. Studies have found that laugher can lead to more successful brainstorming, more creative output and improves problem solving, allowing clearer thinking resulting in that “aha!” moment.
We’ve said it before, work doesn’t have to be all work and no play. A healthy balance between having fun and getting work accomplished can help employees lead more satisfied work lives, with lower rates of burnout and turnover, and can contribute to a more light hearted, driven workplace culture.
According to Total Wellness, here are a few reasons to have a good laugh while on the clock:
- Laughing raises energy levels and increases focus
- Laughing alleviates stress, especially helpful during high-pressure projects/deadlines
- Laughing with others builds trust and stronger team relationships
- A sense of humor encourages thinking “outside of the box”
- Meetings hat are more “fun” tend to be more effective
Below are a few tips from Total Wellness if you’re looking for ways to add some laughter into the workday:
- Develop rituals – Start meetings with a joke or humorous video
- Set up a library – Create a “humor library” with funny books, memes, etc.
- Send a joke of the day – Forward on a daily email update with a clean, appropriate joke
- Host “silly days”- Have employees wear silly socks, hats, and glasses
Many people prefer working in a light-hearted and easy-going environment. See how you can inject humor into your workplace as part of your monthly wellness objectives. As a leader, showing your funny side at work every now and then can change the office mood. Since leadership can often be seen as very serious and too business-like during employee interactions, it can cause tension for employees, even if it’s not intended. Being more light-hearted can even increase your employees feelings of trust in their employer and leadership.