Who hasn’t heard that laughter is the best medicine? I am sure you know that laughing regularly is good for us. It can boost our immune system and improve our mood. However, we tend to attribute the benefits of laughter to personal life and decouple it from the professional one.
But I wonder why?
We spend most of our time working. In today’s fast-paced environments, even the best job on earth can be stressful and tense. That is why it is the place where we need laughter the most.
When you google the benefits of laughter, you will find many of them. But for this piece, I want to tell you about the three below:
- stress reduction;
- improved relationships;
- increase in creativity.
Let’s look at each of them in more detail then.
Laughter Releases Stress
Laugh my friend, for laughter ignites a fire within the pit of your belly and awakens your being. —Stella McCartney
A good laugh at work, especially in tough times, does not only improve our mood or lighten the load of tense situations but also induces positive, physical changes in our bodies.
It reduces the level of stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline), increases the release of endorphins to our brains, and stimulates our main organs: heart, lungs, and muscles. Because of this, laughter puts our bodies through a real exercise that relieves stress. No wonder it can be so handy at work when going to the gym to sweat the stress out is a few long hours away.
Laughing together is always better
Laughter connects you with people. It’s almost impossible to maintain any kind of distance or any sense of social hierarchy when you’re just howling with laughter. Laughter is a force for democracy. — John Cleese
No one can deny that laughter is a social mechanism that helps us connect with other people. Remember the time when you were dealing with an upset customer or coworker, and you managed to crack a joke? Didn’t the laugh you had together at that moment instantly connect you, break the barriers that were building because of a tense situation?
Yes, people welcome a good laugh. They want to be around others that don’t take everything seriously, including themselves. We connect, bond and make friends with others when we laugh. Moreover, we trust better people who can laugh.
Think about your best friendships. Aren’t they the most honest, authentic ones where laughter is a regular occurrence? Now think about our best customers or co-workers. Can you see the similarities in those connections? I bet you do!
Laughter improves memory and boosts creativity
At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities. — Jean Houston
Laughter stimulates our brain function through increased oxygenation. Additionally, positive emotions triggered when we laugh widen and strengthen the connections and associations our brains create when “learning.” All this activity improves our brains’ health and prepares the ground for creativity to flourish.
As a result, employees that can unlock their creative ideas at work give any business an edge and definite competitive advantage. The more of them the business implements and weave together, the more edge it will gain. Think of a beautiful thick spider web for instance: it is hard to figure out its beginning and end.
Just like in a spider web, your competitors will have a hard time to find and replicate the compounded benefits and advantages of small innovative improvements. If you want to read more on how to incrementally innovate your business, click here.
So what’s the conclusion?
In summary, it’s our obligation as leaders to create a work environment that benefits not only the organizations we lead but also employees that contribute to their successes. I know I am going to repeat what many great leaders have been saying, but it is such a powerful truth yet somehow yet not a common practice.
When we put our people first, the results and profits will follow.
To quote E.E. Cummings: The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
So, I want to challenge you to put your people first and start laughing with them. Because as a leader, you should lead by example and create opportunities for those around you to laugh with you. And when you do that, you will see magic happen.
PS. Do you want to know more?
So much more fascinating and beneficial activity is happening in our bodies when we laugh. If you are interested to know more this link will lead you to my source article that explains all the science behind the magic of laughter.