Laughter's on the Agenda-Now What?
YOU DID IT! You managed to convince your boss (or yourself, if you are the boss) that it's a good idea to put more laughter into the workplace. You've done your research and you finalliy get it:
Laughter, if practiced heartily, whether you laugh because you found something funny, or you laugh, as kids so often do, for no reason at all, produces these remarkable benefits:
Such great exercise you can actully lose 4 pounds in a year (20 min. of daily laughter required)
Lowers stress, anxiety & depression
Increases focus, creativity, & productivity
Fosters a deeper sense of trust, boosts morale & builds stronger teams
If you missed my last blog, check it out for a great talk by Standford MBA Grad, Eric Tsytsylin: Laughter Serious Business which gives you more information on all the benefits of laughter in the workplace.
Not bad for something that costs nothing and is so much FUN! But now that you know the importance, what to actually do about it?!
Here are a few ideas to get your started. The important thing is to let your imagination run wild.
1. Create a new CFO position (Chief FUN Organizer) - for added fun, appoint a different person each month
2. At the start of your work week, send a link to a laughter video clip and ask everyone to watch it at a designated time. Enjoy the sound of peals of laughter in the air! (youtube is full of them-here's one of my favorites and it's under 2 minutes!)
3. Cover the floor of your office with balloons so that everyone arrives to an array of color. Encourage them to kick and toss them around randomly throughout the day without any breaking and watch the teamwork build as they play and the sound of laughter bounces off the walls!
4. Plaster post-it notes throughout people's work space encouraging them to: SMILE - LAUGH - GIGGLE - SNORT - CHORTLE - CACKLE - HA-HA-HA, etc. At your next staff meeting you can ask for volunteers to demonstrate the different kinds of laughter for the group. You'll all be howling together in no time! For increased positivity and encouragement, add other words and phrases like: KEEP IT SIMPLE - GRATITUDE MATTERS - THANKS FOR YOUR HARD WORK! - KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! - CELEBRATING YOU!
5. Try Smile Push-Ups* with your team for frustration/anger management as an alternative to the typical 'Count to 10' cool down practice. Did you know that just smiling sends endorphins to your brain which makes you happier?
Simply smile till your cheeks hurt, then relax your face without a smile.
Repeat 10 times, counting as you go.
Have everyone practice with a teammate for added benefits. If it becomes difficult to relax or a little laughter escapes along the way, all the better! As you smile you are changing your brain chemistry, making yourself happier. In addition, it takes some concentration to focus on alternating between smiling and relaxing. If you even remember what you are upset about by the time you have counted 10 Smile Push-Ups you will already be feeling better, thus changing the interaction to a more positive one.
This is just the beginning. There are many other great ways to add Wellness to your Workplace. Contact me if you have specific questions - I'm happy to help!