May 15th to 21st is Mental Health Awareness Week, and this year’s theme is anxiety. Most of us do feel anxious at work. We have deadlines to meet, presentations to give, and many more tasks in the day that make us feel anxious. Feeling anxious can be a good thing, pushing us to perform better. However, continuous anxiety can interfere with our work and prevent us from achieving our goals.
We need to be careful of feeling anxious continuously, so it interferes with our work, and we cannot function and achieve our goals.
One way you can help your team to feel less anxious is by promoting laughter and giving your team permission to laugh.
How important laughter is
Did you know that children laugh an average of 400 times a day, while adults only 17 times a day? That’s an average. How many times a day do the people in your team laugh? What can we do to encourage a positive laughing atmosphere so your team is happy and motivated to come to work and doesn’t want to resign, resulting in less staff turnover?
I worked in a company where there was a 76% turnover of staff. There wasn’t much laughter and we were not happy. We never had permission to laugh, and if we did laugh, we were seen to be being ‘silly’ and not working toward sour goals.
Is laughter good for your health?
Of course, it is! Overall, laughing is a great way to improve your mental and physical health. It can improve your mood, reduce stress and anxiety, and boost your immune system.
Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air which stimulates your heart lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
Laughter may even help you to live longer. A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humour outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.
Laughter can be a powerful tool in helping a team to be successful. Here are 5 amazing ways laughter can benefit a team towards success:
Build team cohesion. When team members share a laugh together, it can help to build a sense of camaraderie and unity. It can help to break down barriers and promote a positive team culture.
Boost morale. Laughter can be a great way to boost team morale and create a positive work environment. When team members are in a good mood, they are more likely to be productive and motivated.
Reduce stress. Laughter is a natural stress reliever and can help team members to feel more relaxed and less anxious. This can lead to better decision-making and more effective problem-solving.
Joe Hoare, Laughter Yoga Specialist, explains that laughter is essential to our well-being. Watch my conversation with Joe on my Mental Health Chats on YouTube and learn how laughter becomes contagious in a positive way and how we can all harness the power of laughter to improve our lives, especially in the workplace.
Improve creativity. Laughter can stimulate the brain and promote creative thinking. When team members are relaxed and having fun, they may be more likely to come up with innovative ideas and solutions.
Enhance communication. Laughter can break down communication barriers and make it easier for team members to connect with each other. It can also promote active listening and encourage team members to be more open and honest with each other.
Thinking of these 5 tips, I remember working on a huge project with my team. The pressure was high, and everyone is feeling stressed and tense. I remember a meeting where one team member cracked a joke, and everyone started laughing. The laughter actually became contagious and we couldn’t stop. This release of tension brought the team together and lightened the mood. We all felt so much better for the day ahead.
As a result of this laughter, team members felt more connected to each other and more relaxed. We also managed to think more clearly and be more creative. Our stress lowered. We made a pact and all decided to have 5 minutes of jokes at the beginning of every meeting. Wow! I looked forward to this every meeting.
With all this in mind, how can managers promote laughter with our teams? What can we do to foster positive relationship in the workplace?
Managers, if this is something you want your team to experience at work, then I would love to speak with you. Book a call in my calendar and let’s strategise on how you and your team can bring positive mental health and emotional fitness into your day.