Laughter Is The Best Medicine
Stressed out, feeling overwhelmed and lost your Mojo? Maybe what you need is a good old fashioned dose of laughing.
After a big 3 days of strategy with Thought Leaders I was chatting with Liverpoolian ‘speaker extraordinaire’ Collin Ellis about the power of humour.
That conversation sparked today’s blog post. So many of the CEO’s and leaders I coach have not been able to enjoy spontaneous laughter as often as they should.
I hope that today serves as a reminder that over and above anything else laughter, really is the best medicine, and can change the way you look at things in a heart beat. Let me set this up with some stats and facts: Researchers at California’s Loma Linda University and other studies show Laughter is good for your health.
7 Reasons Why Laughter Is Good For You:
- Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
- Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
- Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
- Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
- Laughter burns calories. OK, so it’s no replacement for going to the gym, but one study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn about 40 calories—which could be enough to lose three or four pounds over the course of a year.
- Laughter lightens anger’s heavy load. Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment.
- 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.
One pioneer in laughter research, William Fry, claimed it took ten minutes on a rowing machine for his heart rate to reach the level it would after just one minute of hearty laughter.
OK, So what’s stopping you?
If you’re in a position of responsibility, or you feel you really don’t work with anyone who’s going to get your humour, then here’s a cheats guide to getting some laughter stat – i.e ASAP:
- Find your favourite comedian and watch a couple of clips on Youtube (just make sure you don’t go down the YouTube Tunnel and come up for air 7 hours later).
- Phone a friend of yours who always makes you laugh and is great company – either book a catch up or just chat for a bit on the phone. Not forced but allowing yourself to just feel relaxed in the presence of someone who know’s you and isn’t going to talk about work.
- Have a dog? Take your dog out for a walk or grab a new toy and watch what happens when you let your favourite 4 legged training buddy just start having fun. It’s infectious.
- Download some comedy podcasts for the drive or commute to and from work instead of working on your emails.
- Book a comedy club night and organise it for your team as well
- Overall – stop taking everything too seriously! Really it’s crucial to lighten up.
Some personal touches today:
We are both dedicated to a positive life and enjoying the journey, whatever the road blocks on a daily, weekly or yearly basis. Kieron is doing so much for Lady Cilentro Hospital and giving kids there a reason to smile. Interviewing him was a special treat.
Watch the interview with Keiron and I below
To those of you who are enjoying your ability to smile and bring humour into your day and others – spread the cheer. Especially at this time of the year.
I am so lucky to have been able to have been given a sense of humour from my parents, and that foundation has made running with life overall so much more vital. So I urge you to find your inner ‘Humour Mojo’ and make this week a little more about smiling in the face of stress rather than fighting it.
You’ll be surprised what a fresh perspective can do to brighten busy days and make your thinking that much more agile for problem solving as well.
Yours in Vitality as always
Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain. Charlie Chaplin
+ It’s probably about time I resurrect my interview with Mark Matthews, Richie Vas and Kid Mac from the BodyScience HQ as well, It took us long enough to stop laughing after a few funny intro’s but their message is very special.
Keep an eye out on the blog for the video.
I know they have a hidden blooper reel some where and I really hope it does NOT surface :). Thanks to Greg Young at BSc for always been such a great cheerleader of mine and allowing me to be a complete muppet! (Photo bombs included)
PS: Pranking your colleagues with rubber snakes in the drawer is not advised on this blog post…
USE THE CODE MOJO for 20% off signed copies – what an AWESOME present for someone!