Do you ever wake up in a bad mood? Where you roll out of bed knowing that your colleagues at work expect you to be positive, upbeat and productive. Next, you groan at the thought of fighting traffic to get to a job where you are overworked, overwhelmed, and unhappy. Sound familiar?
According to a Gallup Study, 85% of people hate their jobs. If this is true, many people routinely wake up and dread the rest of their day, and it hasn't even started! Forbes magazine reports most people to find their work to be a source of frustration, not fulfillment.
With stress and burnout levels at an all-time high, we need ways to stay on top of a stressed out lousy mood. The trouble with stress is when it accumulates, it builds steam, and it gets much worse. You may find yourself being short with others, stuck in a negative perspective and exhausted. The trouble is, there is so much you can't control at work. Today, things continuously evolve, and workload continually increase. Also, people are far more distracted because of technology and social media demands. A study by the New York Times says Americans check their phones 80 times a day! Add to this, most of the news we consume digitally is negative, further bringing down our mood.
How can you stay on top of a good mood and feel better about yourself and better enjoy your work? The easiest way is to remember to take yourself lightly in the face of stress.
Keep your work in Perspective & Play with Stress
Humor Sustains You. With stress build up, we need a way to stay resilient. If every email you browse or every phone call you take makes you more stressed out, this stress is bound to affect your ability to remain productive. Instead, if you can learn to adopt a slightly detached, humorous perspective to stress, you will protect yourself from it. This doesn't mean you take your work less seriously; it means you consider yourself more lightly.
Thus, make it a habit to laugh at the tough stuff. When things bring about stress, combat it with humor. Simply laugh ( at yourself, at the situation, etc.) and carry on. Studies show this simple act changes the brain chemistry and engages full brain thinking, which boosts creativity and productivity. By laughing at stress, you are not letting it get the best of you; you remain in control of your mood.
Remember Humor puts you in control in two ways:
1)It puts you in control of your environment by putting others at ease and decreasing tension.
2)It instantly puts you in control of the way you feel. Research shows that you cannot experience any negative emotion and laugh at the same time.
Thus, you can rise above your circumstances and downplay stressful or painful moments by searching for the humor in it.
From Victim to Survivor
Laughter often marks the turning point where people stop being a victim of a stressful work environment and start becoming a survivor. There is a saying; You don’t play when you feel better, you feel better when you play. Thus, the play has to come first, to train yourself to chose a good mood over a bad one.
Remember humor liberates expectations and appropriately used it will help you manage expectations. You may fear the worst, but a light-hearted perspective teaches you to balance that perspective and expect things to get better.
Laughing is the best stress management technique around because it’s fun, free, safe, takes no special training, no equipment, is easy to do, and accessible at any time
Every time you laugh, you:
Increases Endorphins (like morphine it makes you feel good and gives energy)
Decreases Stress Hormones
Decreases muscle tension from stress (further breaking the stress cycle)
Increases oxygen to your brain which makes you more focused and productive
Stress Levels, Humor and Leadership
Especially during times of uncertainty, people need levity to survive. Leaders, who ask, Why can't this uncertainty and change be fun? Will rise above personal stress because they have learned to take themselves lightly in chaos. This fun and positive focus will eventually permeate the workplace.
Humor doesn't make the uncertainty go away, but it gives you a means to positively cope with uncontrollable chaos. It offers a release and lifts the seriousness of the situation.
A little bit of levity also takes the weight of the onus off the individual and puts it onto the situation, a much more positive way to view stress.
Suppressing emotions eventually numbs a person. To release emotion healthily, especially at work, may seem rare because most people either avoid (suppress) conflict or they get angry and retaliate. Finding a real release is critical to keeping workplace morale high.
The word silly is derives from the Old English word saelig, which means to be happy and blessed.
Organizations that playfully catch people in the act of doing good work create engaging workplaces. The more fun (or funny and unexpected) a recognition is, the more memorable it will be. A bonus is that surprising, fun recognition initiatives take the expectation of entitlement away.
When you can playfully engage at work, you are building trust and rapport. Unleashing the playfulness in others starts with matching passion with opportunity.
I'm hired as a funny motivational speaker at over 100 times a year to help workplaces understand how important levity is to their bottom line. Most people believe in the science of humor, but they don't know how to implement it. Usually, I remind them that fun is not something that we add to the to-do list and considered it a chore. Instead, it's natural to laugh at stress.