Did you know that laughter can boost your immune system, decrease pain, and even help prevent heart disease? Did you also know that laughter can relieve stress and some anxiety, while increasing positive affect? Laughter not only has many physical and mental health benefits but it also has many social benefits too, for example laughter can help strengthen relationships, diffuse conflict, and even enhance teamwork and group bonds. Laughter is such a wonderful and contagious thing, I mean even trying to refrain from laughing makes us laugh even more. You might be wondering why we are discussing laughter right now – but we thought that after all these difficult times and with so many people still working from home it would be a wonderful topic to discuss.
This article, Laughing is Good for Your Mind and Your Body – here’s what the research shows, by The Conversation discusses how important laughter is for the mind, body, and friendships. Laughter works a multitude of organs and even multiple areas of the brain and nervous system. Laughter also helps to work your cognitive functioning, it helps to work your brain by identifying the absurdity of a situation. Laughter also helps to increase positive affect, diffuse tense situations and anxiety, and increase positive outlook in life. Laughter also helps you to connect to others and make new social interactions less anxious.
Here is an article that explains how comedy can assist individuals in social situations. In other words, learning how to make others laugh helps build relationships with others and makes certain situations easier to get through – such as meeting new people for the first time. This article, Laughter and Learning: Humor Boosts Retention by Edutopia, discusses the importance of humor in education. Including humor in lesson plans helps students better retain the information presented. Along with the previous articles this article discusses some great ways to encourage humor in children. It is important that when encouraging children to use humor that you make age appropriate jokes. Making jokes that are incomprehensible to children can frustrate kids and make them less willing to make their own silliness.
Laughter reduces stress hormones in the body, works a multitude of muscles and organs, can provide a stress-free distraction from the obstacles at hand, and gives a light-hearted perspective. This article by Very Well Mind and this article by Help Guide both discuss the many health benefits of laughter and how to incorporate laughter more in your daily life. This article by Everyday Health provides 6 great tips for bringing laughter into your life. These tips include remembering to “lighten up” and not stressing if the joke you make might not be funny to everyone else.
Not only is laughter good for your physical, mental, and social well being, it is also great for your productivity at work. This article by CNBC explains the connection between laughter and productivity. We have all heard the saying that happy employees work harder, and according to this article there is truth behind that saying. Making time to pause and genuinely laugh with colleagues or at a funny video or a joke helps us relax and focus on the work we have to do. Taking a mini fun break in the middle of the day can actually help boost your productivity levels. So go ahead and watch that funny kitten video or share that joke with coworkers before the next meeting, it will help everyone to feel a little less stressed and increase the rest of the day’s productivity.
We hope this inspires you to laugh a little more at work and with your family. Laughter really is the best medicine!