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Laughter Really IS The Best Medicine
Diagnosis: Stressed out.
Prescription: One belly laugh every hour until cured.
Sound strange? Not really, according to experts. As far back as biblical times, people have recognized the power of humor in overcoming everything from stress to major illness. In recent years, cultural mores have been supplemented with hard evidence that humor is a valuable tool in dealing with workplace stress, illness and the demands of daily life. It has a positive impact on virtually every system in the body, plus provides a boost to the immune system and reduces pain.
The workplace is one area where most of us could use an injection of humor. Try some of the following methods to lighten up your work world:
Add some fun to your work environment. Bring a stuffed animal, Slinky or some type of toy to work. Put up cartoons or funny pictures around your work space. De-stress with them when things get tense.
Think funny. When you're in a stressful situation, imagine your favorite sitcom character and imagine how they would deal with the situation. Or, exaggerate the situation and take it to the extremes -- that lost file could bring down the entire company! Instead of increasing your stress, this approach can actually allow you to gain some needed perspective.
Create humor files. Rarely do you find an office that doesn't have a cartoon or two posted somewhere. Make your own collection of cartoons, jokes and clippings. Use them to cheer yourself up.
Revisit your childhood. Whether you have children or not, revisit an activity you enjoyed as a child, whether it be a trip to the zoo, a picnic in the park or riding the rollercoaster. You'll be surprised how much your attitude at work will improve.
Use humor to resolve conflict. Shared laughter is one of the best ways to dissolve antagonism between coworkers.
Even in the toughest of circumstances, a dose of appropriately used humor can make an enormous difference. It can serve as a way to overcome fear, anger and stress, plus boost creativity and well-being.
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