Keeping Work and Life in Balance through Laughter
Happy Holidays everyone! I wish all of you a safe, healthy and prosperous 2015. For my last blog of 2014, and as a follow up from my showcase presentation from the last HSSN meeting, I wanted to go a bit more into depth about the importance of developing a good work life balance through laughter.
After 20 years of working in the super-serious, chuckle-challenged non-profit world, I know there is one essential truth: A sense of humor will save your job and probably your life. My warped sense of humor and my ability of not taking myself too seriously proved to be my best asset in times of tremendous stress. Research has shown that the most productive people are those who take their work seriously while taking themselves lightly. As a result of this, employers around the world are finding that Laughter programs can have a positive and immediate impact on their business, including making their company more profitable.
Harmless humorous antics in the workplace are now encouraged by many corporations, including General Electric, Hewett and Packard, IBM and AT&T. Companies of all sizes, services and products are adhering to a philosophy that advocates laughter programs or clubs improve morale, relieve stress, build group collaboration and positively impact the bottom line. In an attempt to turn the office into a quarterly comedy club, businesses are using professional laughter consultants who encourage employees to lighten up and get serious about laughing. Many companies have started weekly laughter clubs where employees spend 15-30 minutes going through a series of simulated laughter actions where they laugh without using comedy or jokes.
Health and modern medical experts agree with the ancient saying that “Laughter is the best medicine.” A hearty belly laugh can lower blood pressure, and laughter exercises the lungs, pumps more oxygen into the bloodstream and activates endorphins that make people feel good. We were born with the ability to communicate with our emotions, and that includes laughing and smiling. Yet it’s sobering to know that young children laugh or smile more than 400 times a day while adults are lucky to muster up a few daily chuckles. Kids shouldn’t be having all the fun.
As a society, we all struggle of creating a good work life balance in our lives. By spending 5-10 minutes a day laughing with someone or with a group of people will do wonders in creating healthy life styles in work and in everyday life. So, go ahead and have a good chuckle!
Trevor Smith is the CEO and Chief Happiness Officer at Blue Sky Consulting. As a professional trainer, public speaker and workshop facilitator, he works with non-profit and for profit business to help them develop healthy and productive work cultures. You can visit his
website at www.blueskyconsulting.us or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org