E.E. Cummings once said, “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”
Our friends at www.eaptools.com, share this article on how to Lighten the Load with Humor at Work.
Laughter…the Best Medicine
There are few better ways to break out of a funk than with a deep belly laugh. As it turns out, the “medicine” that laughter provides is very real. Research proves that laughing not only lightens your mood by releasing pleasure-inducing endorphins, it also inhibits stress hormones and lowers blood pressure.
Coming Together…By Cracking Up
Ever notice how just one person can lighten the mood of an entire group? It’s the same reason that a comedian is always funnier when you’re right there in the audience cracking up along with everyone else — laughter is contagious.
Now why would that be? Well, some medical researchers suggest that laughter is more about social bonding than humor. It makes sense if you think about it. There are very few interpersonal conflicts that can’t be at least temporarily diffused by a healthy dose of humor. Laughter is a release that naturally breaks tension, and the effects are immediate.
Why We’re So Afraid to Have Fun
That being the case, why are so many offices so lacking in humor? Part of the reason is that the business world often frowns upon humor, viewing it as being unprofessional or a sign that people aren’t working hard.
The other part is that we simply become conditioned to lose our sense of fun and silliness as we grow older. We’re expected to be serious. And for those of us who aren’t naturally funny, social inhibition can keep us tied to a safe, quiet demeanor.
Making Laughter Part of Your Day
Laughter is part of a healthy work environment and best of all, it’s free! So let humor be your secret weapon the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed. Here are some tips to lighten your mood and get the laughs flowing when you need them the most.
- Choose to find humor in situations. Instead of saying, “I’ll laugh at this one day,” choose to laugh now.
- Learn to laugh at yourself. Self deprecating humor is the easiest to pull off (and often most appealing to others).
- When you find yourself having a hard time finding humor and laughter, surround yourself with positive people. Be there to support others in time of need.
- Make a game of being silly. Find a coworker you’re comfortable with and try to outdo each others’ absurdities.
- Develop an “Emergency Laughter List”. Use the list as needed.
- Fake it ‘till you make it.
- Develop a humor bulletin board that encourages fun and appropriate humor. Readers Digest is an excellent source for jokes and funny stories that most everyone can relate to.
- Use fun, laughter (and music) in training to encourage engagement and memory.
- Bring a few kids toys with you to work and keep have them ready for the next time you need to blow off steam.
Teaching is Too Important to Take Seriously by Scot Endres with permission and other contributions and inspiration by Patricia Vanderpool, LPC, CEAP, SAP, EAP Lifestyle Management, LLC