Happy New Year! Our guess is that you had some time over the holidays to hang out with friends or family, or you found some sacred time to yourself to catch up on your favorite shows. But our big question is: Did you laugh?
Think about the last time you had a really good belly-laugh. What was it about? How did you feel afterwards? Is it making you smile now? How does it make you feel just thinking about it?
Chances are high that you probably felt pretty darn good after a healthy laugh, and you probably even feel a little more relaxed just re-living the scenario in your head. Why is that? Are there any measurable benefits to laughing? If we’ve sparked your interest, read on to learn more in this Thrive in Five!
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Laughter Each Day Keeps the Doctor Away
While we think it’s safe to say that laughter is a feel good (unless you’re sore from doing a core workout the day before), we did some digging to find out why.
Did you know?
- Laughter releases endorphins, dopamine and oxytocin which relieve stress and anxiety.
- Laughter also decreases adrenaline and cortisol – stress hormones.
- Laughter increases our heart rate and thus our energy levels, allowing us to focus more easily.
- Laughter, like remaining positive, releases neuropeptides which help fight stress and other illnesses.
Another fun fact about laughter is that even if you fake it, your body responds to it as if it’s real. AND, if you fake it long enough, it most likely will turn into real laughter! So… if you’re having a rough time or feeling stressed, find a safe space where you can laugh it out! Maybe just put headphones in or something so people don’t think you’re nuts, or invite them to join you!
The last interesting thing we’d like to share about laughter is this awesome study on college students that showed that humor actually lowered anxiety more than exercise! Good news for you busy folks out there, but don’t let that convince you to drop your New Year’s resolution! (Shameless plug: Have you seen our Thrive about how less exercise is more when it comes to increasing productivity and energy?)
Apply the Five!
This is a fun Thrive, so you get “fun” homework!
For this Thrive, we challenge you to find 30 minutes every day to laugh (or at least smile).
Whether that means:
- happy hour with a co-worker,
- watching a sitcom,
- listening to comedy podcasts on your way to and from work,
- watching fail videos on YouTube,
- browsing the “aww” section of Reddit, or
- joining an improv class…
it’s up to you! Just laugh and reap the benefits!
Learn How Evans Thrives!
What better way to inspire you to thrive than to hear about real people making it happen? And what better way to learn about Evans than to make those real people Evans employees and partners?
Meet Jake Howard!
I’m definitely one of those guys that finds humor in just about everything. There’s something so incredibly rewarding when you can get a friend or coworker to completely lose it and breakdown laughing… even better when you get one of those little snorts.
I think it’s fantastic how we all have our own brand of humor. You might be into situational comedy where you’re basically a walking Seinfeld episode, or perhaps you never take yourself too seriously and indulge in a little self-deprecation, or maybe, just maybe, you’re my old co-worker “Bill” who has that special soul-crushing “humor” and never fails with the old, “Hey Big Guy! Workin’ hard or hardly workin’? Heh heh hyahh!” *Queue finger guns* (I think we’ve all worked with this guy.)
No matter your style, laughter is such a powerful way to connect with people; we can’t help but want to be around those who make us laugh. Too often we get so caught up with the back-to-back (to back) meetings and looming deadlines that we forget to take the time to give ourselves, and those around us, a little chuckle. Don’t be afraid to take a few seconds to include that amusing anecdote in the team status email or stick around after the staff meeting and partake in some witty banter.
So go ahead… holster those finger guns, spice up those email chains, and it could be you that makes someone’s day a little bit brighter.
Until Next Time…
Evans’ Talent Engagement Team
(Kaitlin Hurley and Nicole Anderson)
(This image was adapted from a commonly shared internet image.)