Leveraging Benefits of Humor in the Workplace
Workplaces are full of stress; there is no question about that. And introducing some fun and laughs at work will help combat that stress and contribute to employee health and productivity. Besides, tasteful humor often leads to overall happiness at work and at home. And isn't that what we all need? Not to mention the many other benefits of humor for your health and your social and professional lives.
Health Benefits of Humor
Humor is mankind's greatest blessing. - Mark Twain
When they say "Laughter is the best medicine,"- they are not really joking. Also, this medicine comes free of cost. Humor has a significant impact on our bodies and minds, in addition to forming social relationships and making people happy.
Let's look at some of the physical and mental health benefits of humor.
Physical Benefits of Humor
* Relaxes muscles
Laughter induces muscle relaxation. It is a known fact that our muscle tension remains low for 45 minutes after a hearty chuckle. Stress usually causes the tension, whereas humor can help to relax and loosen the muscles.
* Pumps up the Heart
It seems when we laugh, so do our hearts. Humor and laughing help prevent heart disease by improving blood vessel function and stimulating circulation. They boost the amount of oxygen in our hearts, increase heart rate, and reduce arterial wall stiffness.
* Burns Calories
Laughing out loud daily results in weight loss of up to 3-4 pounds in a year. Because laughing raises our heart rate, it also boosts our metabolism. And the body continues to burn calories even after we stop laughing due to the enhanced metabolism.
* Boosts the Immune System
A good laugh boosts immune function by increasing the body's immunoglobulin levels. Immunoglobulins are proteins that help the body fight infections and stay safe. With the presence of a strong immune system, our bodies become more capable of combating diseases.
* Releases Endorphins
Endorphins are often known as natural painkillers. And real laughter releases endorphins. These hormones promote well-being and help with pain tolerance. An experiment was done with a group of participants who were asked to watch 15 minutes of a comedy show. As per the study, after viewing the performance and laughing, their pain tolerance increased by 10%.
* Stabilizes Blood Pressure
Another experiment was conducted, but this time volunteers were required to watch a 20-minute comedy show and a 20-minute serious war film. Their blood pressures were measured and compared after each film.
According to the findings, the individuals' blood pressure and cholesterol levels decreased after watching the comedic film. However, after the war movie, there was no effect. Thus, laughter tickles our funny bones, which reduces stress levels and helps to keep blood pressure in check.
The calories we lose while cycling for 10 minutes can be compensated by laughing 100 times.
Mental Benefits of Humor
* Improves Mood
Humor is supposed to lighten our moods. When we laugh, we put all our worries aside and laugh freely. Even if we are in a bad mood, seeing a hilarious movie or sharing a joke with coworkers can lift our spirits.
* Reduces Stress Hormones
Humor and laughter can do wonders for our brains. Cortisol is the stress hormone that our bodies release when we are stressed. However, this hormone is important as it manages blood sugar levels and metabolism, among other vital functions.
But too much cortisol induces stress. And laughter helps manage that stress by regulating cortisol. Even laughing without finding anything funny has equally positive effects.
* Minimizes Negative Feelings
When surrounded by humor, chronic disorders such as depression and anxiety are also averted. Having a fun-filled work environment is often beneficial to combat such illnesses. And when we are around cheerful people and play along, those unpleasant sensations vanish away for a brief while.
* Enhances Creativity
Nothing restricts our thoughts when there is no stress or anxiety. We have complete freedom to imagine and create. So, when we laugh, stress goes away. And it is at these times that innovative ideas emerge. As a result, humor contributes to creativity.
* Activates all sides of the Brain
Humor makes every part of the brain active.
When we crack a joke, the left side of the cortex analyzes the joke words and structure. Next, the frontal lobe involved in social-economic relationships activates. The joke is then rationally analyzed by the right side of the cortex. The third stage involves stimulating the motors that cause a physical reaction to the joke.
Laugh atleast 100 times a day.
Benefits of Humor in the Workplace
The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office. – Robert Frost
Every element of our lives necessitates the use of humor, and it's a contagious way to bring laughter and joy all across the room. Even in the workplace, a little levity can help relieve workplace stress. In fact, a happier workplace fosters more focus and employee productivity. Employees often find a 9-5 work very tedious, and a few chuckles or grins can make it worthwhile.
Dance in the elevator on your way up to the office.
There's a reason we have days like World Laughter Day, Let's Laugh Day, and National Smile Day to celebrate laughter at work. Workplace humor can act as a crucial part of employee wellbeing. However, humor in the workplace differs depending on the situation and work culture.
Often, employees temper their humor for fear of offending others or being criticized.
Employees are also more at ease cracking jokes and having a good time with their coworkers than their managers. Even the leaders struggle to find ways to promote safe and healthy laughter at work. After all, not everyone is Michael Scott.
So, before we crack that joke, let's see if it's appropriate for the office. In such difficult situations, knowing the right kind of humor can assist.
Incorporating Humor at Work
All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind. – Aristotle
We all know how beneficial humor is to our health and social lives. And as an employer, it is your responsibility to make the workplace a healthy and positive one. When workplaces are infused with happiness, employee morale and overall well-being improve. And leaders are the best people to offer employees opportunities to laugh. When employees see their bosses being nice and entertaining, they will feel more at ease around them and open up to them in times of need.
Make paper airplanes with some of your colleagues and see whose fly the farthest.
So, let's take a look at some of the things employers may do to make the workplace more humorous.
Start with a healthy joke when you meet your employees every morning to lighten their morning mood.
Send jokes, quotations, and memes to coworkers via email or post them on bulletin boards.
Begin meetings by recounting a humorous event that occurred to you.
Host workplace games for your employees in between breaks. Make them involved in the fun.
Resolve employee conflict and relieve tension using humor.
The benefits of humor in our health and work are endless. People enjoy working in an upbeat setting. When mental and physical health benefits are so great, try incorporating humor-centric tasks into your wellness programs.
Because laughter a day keeps the stress at bay.
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