Laughter is  Your Best Therapy. Here's Why

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We all know what's at stake if we don't start taking things seriously when it comes to chronic stress leading to burnout in the workplace.

We could go as far as to say it's an epidemic.

It's tough to avoid, and not many of us know how to deal with it. We believe that everything will get better if we could "get on top of things." So we frantically check things off our to-do lists and push to accomplish more, which only makes the problem worse.

Fixing things needs to start on a physical level - eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep - you know all the things your mother told you to do!

I will also add to the top of the list: Laughter.

Allowing yourself to laugh can do amazing things for stressful situations. Humor therapy - yes, it's called therapy - has been proven to reduce the adverse effects of feeling:

Afraid or helpless

Because "laughter appears to change brain chemistry and even boosts the immune system." Negative thoughts create adverse reactions in the body. A release of cortisol and other stress hormones put you on high alert in stressful situations. For many people, this stress does not subside, and the hormones wreak havoc on our health.

Laughter creates its own natural pain killers. It releases feel-good hormones that simultaneously stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system. This system tells the body to slow down. It decreases stimulation to all body systems like heart rate, digestion, blood pressure, breathing, etc.

Laughing Improves Your Mood

The release of feel-good hormones and the stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system all create a relaxation response that improves your mood.

Laughter stimulates circulation and promotes muscle relaxation; it also shorts circuits your stress response.
Isn't that amazing? I'd say those are pretty great reasons to get laughing.
In the long run, it stimulates your immune system.

But then again, I am a big advocate for humor. As a former stand-up comedian and funny motivational speaker, I've seen first hand how laughing can transform people just by looking at them. Eyes light up, faces relax, and body language loosens. It is quite remarkable.

What will you do this week to throw some necessary humor and Laughter into your daily routine?

My most significant piece of advice has fun! And for goodness sake, don't take yourself too seriously. Laughter is a collaboration of mind and body.

Stop Taking Yourself so Seriously

As stress mounts, it's harder to see the big picture. We tend to get caught up in our immediate stress, and we can easily take it on and carry it around with us. 

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our stress we take it on personally. Stress wraps itself around us, and we start to feel like the world is caving in on us. We become attached to every outcome, and we take ourselves seriously and our jobs personally. When you are so personally attached to every outcome, it will warp your perspective.

Laughing at your stress helps you to detach from it and see it for what it is. From a detached perspective, you create distance from fear, and you nurture a more buoyant perspective. Some people can shrug off stress ( yet still be accountable for results), and these enlightened people almost always have the ability to laugh at themselves during stress. 

If you are taking yourself too seriously in stress, find a way to detach from that perspective with humor. The quickest way to do this is to laugh at yourself. Laugh at your fear or laugh at nothing at all. It all helps.

Laughter and humor can effectively and inexpensively counter stress, improve morale, and create a work environment that is friendlier, less stressful, and more productive.

If you're interested in bringing change to your workplace, I have a great talk that addresses this very issue! It's called:

The Nerve to Serve, Say Hello to Humor & Goodbye to Burnout!

It's so funny and packs in a lot of useful tools like:
How to laugh at the tough stuff
How to use humor as a tool, not a weapon.
How to use humor to build rapport and trust
How to use humor to stay in control

And so much more!

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In a nutshell, you'll learn that:

Laughter and humor can effectively and inexpensively counter stress, improve morale, and create a work environment that is friendlier, less stressful, and more productive.

If you think this could help you and your colleagues, then why not book me to deliver this talk at your next staff event? We'd have so much fun!

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Jody is a motivational speaker who is passionate about inspiring workplace enthusiasm

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