Workplace blogs
Workplace blogs

The Hump Day Humor-Gram May 8, 2002, Issue #2

Please feel free to pass this along, paste it on a washroom stall, fax
it to a friend, staple it your forehead, tie to a skunk, staple it to
a friend’s forehead . . .

This Week . . .

1. The 3 R’s of Humor and Stress Management
2. Mike’s Fun at Work Tip of the Day
3. Quote of the Week
4. It’s a Wacky, Wacky, World . . .
5. Humor at Work Contest
6. Inspiration Event 2002
1. The 3 R’s of Humor and Stress Management

As our salute to National Mental Health Week (I’m saluting right now,
trust me) let’s take a few moments to consider the mental health
benefits of associated with our sense of humor.

Many psychologist believe that feelings associated with stress (the
bad kind of stress, the kind that causes you to hurl your photocopier
out a ten story building) and feelings associated with humor or mirth
are the complete opposite. It’s no wonder then, that we should
consider humor as one of the most powerful tolls for combating
workplace stress.

Remember, stress happens. Stress itself is not a bad thing, it’s how
we react to situations that create physical and mental health problems
for us. Being the simple guy that I am, here are 3 simple ways we can
use our sense of humor to reduce our stress levels during a stressful

1. REWARD Yourself: Give yourself a fun reward each and every time
you encounter a common stressor in your life. If you do this
effectively, you may even begin to look forward to things that were
previously a source of stress for you. A bank manager in New York,
for example, offered his tellers a free champagne dinner each week to
whoever had the “worst customer experience story” as a way to help
them deal with the stress.

2. REFRAME a stressor: Do what comedians and humorists do, mentally
reframe situations to find the humor in them. Force yourself to look
at your next problem in a wacky light. Try the old, the “bad news is
. . ., but the GOOD news is. . .” formula to see if you can find
something to laugh about.

3. RELAX: Give yourself a humor break the next time you feel
stressed. Stress can cause our brains to shut down by as much as 70%.
So we need to take the time to laugh or change our mental focus to
help us deal with problems head on with a clear and focussed head.
Use a funny prop, a goofy costume part to help you access your sense
of humor, reach for your favorite humor book or “use a lifeline”
phone a friend or co-worker and ask them to “make you laugh!”
Mike’s Fun at Work Tip

The next time you step into an elevator with other people, especially
strangers, try this simple yet effective way of getting people to
smile: turn and face the opposite way of everyone else, so that you
are looking not at the elevator doors, but at the folks riding along
with you. Yes, you will feel a little strange the first time you try
this, but I guarantee that if you do this, you can’t help but smile or
laugh (and others will too, trust me, I’ve done this lots).
Quote of the Week

“Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and think of something
important I have to tell the Pope. And then I wake up fully and
remember that I AM the Pope.”

Pope John Paul XXIII
It’s a Wacky, Wacky World . . .

Most of the Canadians in the crowd have probably heard this
announcement already, but it’s worth mentioning again. The Federal
Government will be employing “professional shooers” to shoo away
pigeons and other nefarious birds that land on monuments and statues
in our beloved nation’s capital. (It makes me wonder, if there is
someone running around the streets of Ottawa waving their arms and
chasing birds away making strange noises, will be able to tell this
person apart from the politicians?).
Copyright Michael Kerr, 2002

Michael Kerr, “The Workplace Energizer” is the author of 5 books,
including You Can’t Be Serious! Putting Humor to Work.
Michael delivers keynote talks and workshops on humor in the workplace,
business creativity and public speaking skills.

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