Daily Archives: March 20, 2009

The Importance of Laughter

You’ve heard the expression that laughter is good for the soul – but is it true? According to medical research, laughter not only makes you feel better by releasing endorphins, it also reduces stress and stimulates the brain and muscular system – making laughter good for the mind, body, and spirit.

During these tough economic times when people are concerned about job security and making ends meet, it’s extremely important to remember to laugh, even when you don’t think there’s anything to laugh about. In the book, Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious, by Sigmund Freud, laughter is described as a way the body reduces anxiety, aggression, fear, and anger. This type of euphoria can last up to 24 hours. So, busting out in a good, hearty laugh might just give you what you need to make it through to the next day.

Some people might think that frequent laughter at work is inappropriate, since work is a serious place, but experts say laughter is healthly in the workplace. Melissa B. Wanser, EdD, professor of communication studies at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, found that laughter in the workplace can increase communication among employees. Wanzer maintains that employees who view their managers as humor-oriented also view them as more effective and report higher job satisfaction. And, employees who are happy are usually more productive, making your company a better place to work.

Employees who have high levels of stress, anxiety, and fear due to normal, everyday workloads or as a result of today’s economy could use a nice, hearty laugh from time-to-time. So, don’t be afraid to laugh a little bit throughout the day – tell a joke, or get up and do something silly. Don’t think you’re funny? Well, there’s a class clown in every company, so find out who they are and strike up a conversation. Having a good laugh will not only make you feel better, it just might make your co-workers feel better too.

Do you have any stories that could make others laugh? Tell us about your laughable workplace stories in the comments section below.