STRESS, wow this is a word that can be easily thrown around in almost every workplace, anywhere in the world. What if I told you that you could reduce this by almost 70% with just one little thing?
Sound too good to be true? What if I told you that you could do it, by simply practicing something your body and mind is so attuned to and it is a perfectly natural action?
In the words of Mark Twain:
“[Humanity] has unquestionably one really effective weapon—laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution—these can lift at a colossal humbug—push it a little—weaken it a little, century by century, but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand”.
Laughter has several amazing effects on the body. It strengthens your immune system, reduces muscle tension and stress. It is good for your ticker and some say it can help you recover faster from injury or illness.
We all know the workplace can be a stressful environment and it may not be easy to get that hearty, healthy chuckle in, so I have compiled a short list of how you can make your day a tad happier.
- Use the Word: Check out http://www.wordthink.com/; word of the day, then try to naturally work it into a conversation.
- Have some Hula Fun: Hold a hula hoop contest with your desk neighbour or on a zoom call with your colleagues.
- Pull Yourself towards yourself: write a letter to yourself about how your stress is ridiculous “dear future me, can you believe how I wasted a day being stressed?”
- Jam it up: get up and dance, do it in the elevator, at your desk, in front of a mirror, just wiggle those hips for a minute
- Jam it up Together: Even better than a solo elevator jiggle, have a 2pm 30 second dance party with your co workers
- Halloween scream: put out a bowl of candy at your desk and offer people a sweet in exchange for a story or a joke.
- Employ some dark humour : Get a de-motivational poster for your desk or office.
- Glam it up: give any colleague (even the men) a new hairstyle with an online makeover.
- Poetry slam: Buy refrigerator magnets for the office kitchen.
- Pirate Ahoy: give everyone on your team a Pirate name
- Pass Notes: pass a note in the office like you did as a kid, better yet, fold it into a paper plane and see if you can land it on their desk
- DON’T laugh: have a don’t laugh don’t smile contest with your co-workers, see who breaks first
But remember life can’t always be fun and games, so there are some rules to follow when it comes to humour in the workplace:
Know your audience
Don’t use humour to insult or offend anyone. Anything that includes religion, sexuality, ethnic background, politics, or someone’s personal beliefs, is a no-go-zone.
Don’t forget to laugh at yourself
Life is short, don’t take yourself too seriously.
Include company anecdotes
This can make even the most disparaging audience feel involved.
Use humour to diffuse tension
But not at the cost of a covered insult.
There is still work to be done, so don’t go overboard!
The number one quality I look for in anyone, be it my manager, friend or colleague, is a sense of humour. Life is stressful! Let’s all try and turn our frowns upside down, even if it is just for 5 minutes of the day.