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POWER OF LAUGHTER FOR WELLBEING

Updated: Mar 6

If there’s one thing we’ve learnt over the last few years at CONNECT AND CARE it’s that our audience really appreciate a bit of fun, laughter, banter, a few shits and giggles. Delivering wellbeing content at times can be super challenging, holding space delving into courageous conversations, particularly around poor mental health. Naturally there’s a time and place for fun and laughter, but often subtle comedy can really help to more fully engage a group of people who may be total strangers to each other. It can rapidly strengthen positive connections and build teams effectively and efficiently, from top to bum (I mean bottom).


Speaking of which, at CONNECT AND CARE we believe that a non-hierarchal advocacy model works well. If you have a head and a heart, you will benefit from our programming, regardless of your role. If you’re missing one of those yet still manage to read this, you’re possibly part alien and may not need our services after all. HELP…US…ON…PLANET…EARTH.


Having recently attended a 5 days wellbeing training program it was surprising how quickly 14 strangers bonded, not knowing each other from Adam, ages ranging from 23 – 66. It became clear very quickly that laughter drove those rapid positive connections. Seriously powerful stuff. Us wellbeing providers have to put in the self-care in order to do our jobs to the best our ability, manage our lives with more ease. This was long over-due for CONNECT AND CARE to be honest.


Last year Forbes shared that one company in the USA created a new HR role during 2020 for their business:


HUMOUR RESOURCES


With a view to “purposely build more happiness for the workplace”. How simple and clever is that? This HR lead was given the task of researching and sharing funny YouTube videos to share with the team on a daily basis, during their working week.


HOW DOES LAUGHING SUPPORT OUR WELLEBING?

  • Relieves tension and stress

  • Increases blood flow in our body

  • Reduces muscle tension

  • Massages our internal organs - I KNOW RIGHT, sign me up for a giggle…immediately

  • Burns calories – CONNECT AND CARE urge readers not to over indulge in wine and chocolate based on this fact


In said Forbes article, 2021, the writer shares that according to Paul Osincup “humor is the new mindfulness”. That we can in fact train our brain to see and experience funny things more often. EXCELLENT. Sign me up.


WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SHOW?

That chemical reactions in the brain can elevate our mood creating happier employees and therefore more productive ones in the process. What are these chemicals?


  • DOPAMINE

  • OXYTOCIN

  • SERETONINE

  • ENDORPHINS


Humor can become a habit, just like brushing teeth. We can make it a more intentional part of every-day living and be more consciously aware that laughter acts as an easily accessible wellbeing tool in our kit.


In essence…CREATING LAUGHTER IS A CHOICE! LET’S CHOOSE IT, TOGETHER.

CONNECTING, through LAUGHTER, helps us best look after ourselves and each other. Winner winner, laughing dinner.


TIPS FOR MORE (CONSCIOUS) LAUGHTER IN LIFE

  1. Find funny stuff on social media that floats your comedy boat – a classic clip from a TV show/movie – for example: “Only Fools and Horses” where Del Boy falls through the pub bar (very English reference, not sorry)

  2. Share it with a friend on social media – research shows even the an…tici…pation of humor helps to decrease stress (thanks Tim Curry)

  3. Don’t just read and watch serious (depressing) stuff e.g. the news; purposely find funny stuff and add it to your daily viewing as part of your overall wellbeing

  4. Research shows that writing down 3 funny things each day for one week can reduce symptoms of depression FOR UP TO 6 MONTHS!

  5. Schedule a funny work break, invite others to join you; connect through laughter


Train yourself to find things that make you laugh. When you do, sprinkle and share it like a legendary wellbeing advocate. Try sharing with others the benefits of laughter too, educating and empowering them to lead their healthiest happiest lives. We’re “getting through together” after all (reference Mental Health Foundation, NZ).


FUNNY HAPPY ENDING

Imagine for one moment a wellbeing provider, about to deliver content and manage conversations in a workshop around anxiety, depression and suicide awareness. Some pretty serious subjects thrown in there. 16 participants sitting comfortably, seated in a horse shoe shape, including the Managing Director, all eyes on the facilitator with nowhere to hide.


Within one minute of presenting, suddenly noticing a rather bulky lump around the right trouser ankle region. Unsure what, said lump slowly removed from ankle with caution and care so as not to reveal…yesterday’s used underwear!


In hindsight…this should have become a shared moment of side-splitting comedy for the whole room. Possibly a little flushed in the face on that one. Can you guess who this was?


What cracks you up? What makes you laugh so hard that your cheeks ache from laughing? How does that make you feel after? Happier and healthier, or sad and depressed? Laughter really is the best medicine.


CHOICE!


Mel

CONNECT AND CARE



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