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Laughter is contagious.
One time I told my friend, Randy, that sometimes I turn on the German version of my car’s GPS just to mix things up a bit.
Randy looked at me and just started to laugh. Then I started to laugh because he was laughing, and in no time we were both in stitches.
A golf friend, Lisa, was telling a few of us a story of when she and another golfer drove over a grate in the fairway and jammed the gas pedal of the golf cart.
They could slow the cart down using the brake but as soon as they released the brake the cart took off again.
So, in a panic, they drove the cart against a tree and called the pro shop for help.
Drew, in the pro shop said, “Wow, the wheels are still spinning even though you turned the cart off?”
Lisa was laughing uncontrollably when she was sharing this story because neither of the ladies thought to turn the cart off.
Now as I tell these stories, you may be chuckling a bit to yourself but likely not laughing like my friend, Randy or Lisa.
You had to be there.
Seriously, you had to be there.
In the early 2000’s Robert Provine, Ph. D, a neuroscientist, did a study on laughter. One of his conclusions was, “The much vaunted health benefits of laughter are probably coincidental, a consequence of its much more important primary goal: bringing people together. In fact, the health benefits of laughter may result from the social support it stimulates”
In a study in California’s Loma Linda University, they actually measured the health benefits of 20 older adults. The group that watched funny videos together tested lower in cortisol (the stress hormone) levels and higher in recall than the group that sat silently reading and not talking. Gurinder S. Bains, who co-authored the study said, “ Incorporating time to laugh, through social interaction with friends, enjoying exercise in a group setting, or even watching 20 minutes of humor on TV daily, can enhance your learning ability and delayed recall.”
Aha – (or is that “Aha ha ha”?) “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” ~ Victor Borge
You KNOW that “laughter is the best medicine” but are you taking your fun seriously?
Do you have a “Director of Fun” in your organization?
If by laughing, your stress level go down and your learning ability goes up, doesn’t it make sense to plan for a little more interactive humour?
Rally your team and do something fun: go bowling, co-create your own hilarious quotes calendar, prepare lunch as a group, do a Zumba class together, or write your next report in pictures….with crayons.
In those moments, it’s not about being good at whatever you’re doing, it’s purely about laughing and having some fun with others.
“We don’t laugh because we’re happy. We’re happy because we laugh.” ~ William James
Don’t worry. Be happy.