Saturday, June 26, 2010

Laughter, Don't Work Without It!

Are you leaving work stressed and exhausted? Are you waiting for the weekend to have some fun? If you answered yes to these questions, then you need to replace the coffee break at work with a "humor break." Yes I said a humor break. Awaken that 'inner child" that wants to come out and play. The all work and no play mentality is so played out. Sorry for the pun. But it's true. Stop twitting, stop tweeting, stop texting, stop facing, stop e-mailing, stop faxing and start laughing with your co-workers, friends, clients, patients, or at yourself. Norman Cousins, in his book Anatomy of an Illness, stated that joyful laughter is a catalyst that causes your brain to create endorphins that relieve stress and balance the immune system. The immediate benefit of this is a spike in your energy level. Work overload, and stressful situations at work increase the production of stress hormones and cause the flight or fight syndrome. Our bodies constant exposure to these stress hormones result in accelerated heartbeats, increase in blood pressure, an inability to think clearly, shallow breathing and less oxygen to the brain. We cannot change our work environment but we can utilize humor and laughter to change our response to the stress that is inherent in our workplace. Some ideas to make work fun are:
  • Create a humor library at work
  • Show funny appropriate video clips prior to a staff meeting
  • Put cartoons on inner office memos
  • Play a game of human tic tac toe
  • Create a fun slogan for your department
  • Establish a fun committee
  • Have a joke du jour day
These are a few examples of ways to lighten up your work environment. What other ways can you think of that would be fun or have heard about?

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