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The Medicinal Qualities of Laughter

By Natasha Langton

It’s true: laughter is strong medicine. It draws people together in ways that trigger healthy physical and emotional changes in the body. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. As children, we used to laugh hundreds of times a day, but as adults, life tends to be more serious and laughter more infrequent. By seeking out more opportunities for humour and laughter, though, you can improve your emotional health, strengthen your relationships, find greater happiness—and even add years to your life.

As an employer, how can you bring fun into the workplace?

1) Lead by example.
Don't take yourself too seriously all of the time. Laugh at your own mistakes. Too much intensity can diminish employees’ concentration and performance.

2) Bring laughter into meetings.
Begin team meetings with a funny YouTube video or silly quote. Have a good laugh, afterall, relaxed minds produce better results.

3) Promote creativity.
Encourage doodling, share funny quotes. Provide construction paper and crayons in meetings. Childhood reminders can bring the fun side out of anyone.

4) Reward with humour.
Promoting humour outside of the workplace will also benefit employees. Purchase sets of tickets to a comedy at the cinema or the theatre and give them out randomly or offer the tickets in recognition of an outstanding performance.

5) Bring fun to work.
Laughing as a group creates camaraderie and bonding. Try taking time out as a team to watch a funny movie together. The extra time taken will come back to you in creativity, commitment, and increased productivity levels.