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Transform Work > Resources > Member News > “You’re having a laugh!” 

“You’re having a laugh!”


Well, are you having a laugh?

When was the last time you had a good old belly laugh or laughed until your stomach ached and your eyes watered?

I look back on my time as a radiographer in a large X-ray department of a busy general hospital as one of tragedy, crises, hard work and… laughter!

Yes, laughter! I worked with a dedicated but hilarious band of doctors, nurses, office staff and radiographers who managed even in the worst of scenarios to see a “funny side”. I guess you would say it was a defence mechanism to protect against the sorrow and pain that the job entailed and therefore a sense of humour was of paramount importance.

So... What is humour? What is laughter?

The UCLA had a human research task force that has actually done clinical research on humour and its affects. They found that;

Humour is a tool that can be leaned on to lessen the detrimental effects of dark days (remember that when a deadline is looming).

They characterised humour as a sensitiveness, a warm, fellow feeling where often an embarrassing situation can be eased by using humour. Often when humour is introduced into conversations awkwardness can be reduced. Try it! (But only when appropriate!)

One of the results of humour is laughter and everyone knows that “laughter is the best medicine”!

Medically it has been found that laughter:

  • boosts your immune system
  • lowers blood pressure and
  • relieves pain from chronic conditions (read Norman Cousins - Anatomy of an illness” and watch “Patch Adams”)

And according to findings from the Mayo clinic, laughter:

  • induces physical changes in your body,
  • increases your intake of oxygen rich air,
  • regulates abnormal heartbeat,
  • aids digestion,
  • increases your brains release of endorphins and
  • stimulates circulation and muscle relaxation (thus reducing some physical symptoms of stress)

Laughter creates bonds between people, it’s nourishing and helps develop resilience, making it easier to cope with difficult situations. Current research indicates that laughter has quantifiable and physiological benefits.

According to a Harvard Business review, laughter:

  • relieves stress and boredom,
  • boosts engagement and well being, and
  • spurs creativity, collaboration and productivity

All vital to a successful workplace environment!

In India they take laughter so seriously that they have laughter clinics every day before work! In New Zealand they have had clown doctors for many years who go into hospital to help children (and adults) who are undergoing major surgery or have a debilitating disease. Laughter Boss is an organisation which takes humour into care homes to touch the soul of older folk and give it room to smile and laugh.

So - the workplace (and other places) needs laughter - every chuckle brings with it a host of business benefits. The freedom to laugh at work is not just good but necessary.

Laughter quotes for the works notice board:

  • “People who laugh together work well together”
  • “Smile- even when you don’t feel like it- it will make you feel better”
  • “Laughter is like creativity juice for the brain”
  • “Laughter is contagious so make sure you share it with co workers to make a happier more productive workplace”
  • “Remember- they who laugh, last!!”

Is laughter scriptural?

well God made giraffes didn’t he??

A priest, a rabbi and a nun walk into a bar. The bartender says-

“what’s this? a joke?”