Laughter in the Workplace

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1. Laugh, and the World Laughs With You, Especially Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, January 24, is “Global Belly Laugh Day.” (Ironically,
a University of Cardiff study determined that tomorrow is also the
“gloomiest day of the year.” So it would appear that we are all
going to need a good belly laugh tomorrow!)

Many folks tend to think that laughter and humor go hand in hand,
but actually it’s often not the case. According to laughter
researcher and neuroscientist Dr. Robert Provine, 80% of laughter
isn’t based around humor; furthermore speakers in conversations
tend to laugh 46% more often than listeners do.

Since we know that laughter can help improve oxygen flow, increase
blood flow, relax muscles, increase production of immunity-boosting
gamma interferon (great name for a rock band, no?), reduce the stress
hormone cortisol, and increase salivary immunoglobulin A (which
fights respiratory infections), then perhaps we need to take this
belly laughing thing seriously. A good belly laugh works faster
on our bodies than Vodka or Valium, while the impacts can last
for 24 hours. And keep in mind my personal favorite benefit:
a hearty belly laugh can equal the same workout on a rowing
machine, so tomorrow, in honor of Global Belly laugh day, I’m
going down to my local gym to laugh at the people working out!
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2. Mike’s Fun at Work Tip

In honor of “Global Belly Laugh” day, take a cue from the folks
at the World Laughter Tour organization, and practice laughing
for absolutely no reason the next time you feel stressed out.
The saying, “fake it ‘til you make it” may have some truth to
it, as even fake laughter has some of the same health benefits as
real laughter.(Helpful hint: if this is your first time laughing
for no reason, you may want to try it in a broom closet or in
your car on the commute home, as opposed to during the middle of
listening to a presentation by head office, or during a staff
meeting. Just a helpful thought. You know, I like to be helpful.)
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3. Quote of the Week

“Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an
event, deal with it and then move on.” Bob Newhart
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4. It’s a Wacky, Wacky, World

Here’s a party trick for you: Draw the Necker cube on a napkin
(the classic 3d version of a cube), then tell someone a joke
(preferably a funny one) while they are looking at the cube.
Lo and behold, their visual perception of the cube will change
as they laugh! You’ll be the hit of the next party with this
little trick. (Especially if there are psychology geeks around!)
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Copyright Michael Kerr, 2008. mike@mikekerr.com www.mikekerr.com

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