Laugh out loud

Laughter is as important to our mental health as diet and exercise. We chose NOT to laugh when we go into survival mode to protect ourselves in toxic work environments. Or we laugh to reinforce our sense of superiority and shame others for the different perspectives they bring to the organization.

How individuals use laughter in organizations indicates key cultural dynamics. Do you laugh with or laugh at? Choose wisely. Use laughter to bring people together, create a culture of belonging, and value differences. The number one catalyst for laughter isn’t a joke, it’s interacting empathically with another person.

Our muscles stay relaxed for up to 45 minutes after a hearty laugh. Laughter shuts down the release of cortisol, a harmful stress hormone, and releases endorphins, the brain chemicals that make us feel good. It’s a natural stress reliever.

The physical act of laughing makes us feel good. There are many ways to achieve the desired effect. Don’t be afraid to fake it. My daughter reminds me to laugh with an old-fashioned tickle session. I can hear her saying: “Mom, I miss your ugly laugh,” which has also been compared to the sound of a goat.  

What better way to start your workday? Find your preferred method to laugh out loud!