Welcome back guest blogger, Ida Abdalkhani, Founder at Ability to Engage and one of Catalyst Ranch’s preferred facilitators. Her previous guest blog “7 Steps to Curb your Perfectionism & Accomplish More” was such a hit with Creative Juice readers, we’re thrilled to have her back to share the power of laughter.
LET LAUGHTER IN: The Power of Laughter
By Ida Abdalkhani, Founder at Ability to Engage
Not too long ago, I physically felt the effects of stress on my body from long hours at work, the never-ending to-do lists, and questioning whether or not I was doing something—anything—that mattered. And I’m not alone.
According to the “Stress in America” 2014 Report by the American Psychological Association, seventy-two (72%) of adults feel stressed about money and almost one in two of us (47%) struggle to stay happy according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. We are living with unhealthy levels of stress and unhappiness. But we can combat it.
Energy is primarily derived from four areas: 1) Body, 2) Mind, 3) Emotions and 4) Spirit. We have the ability to expand and renew each of these with intentional behaviors. But it requires an investment in teaching ourselves new things and in doing things that may, at first, feel uncomfortable.
One tool that is free and can help bolster energy across all four of these areas (body, mind, emotions, and spirit) is laughter. We can use it to help combat stress and unhappiness and increase our productivity and connections with others. And the beauty of laughter is that it’s all natural, drug free, free free (as in no cost) and available to anyone—regardless of age, gender, or experience level. All that’s needed is an open mind and open heart!
But in case that’s not enough to convince you to let more laughter into your life, here are 7 health reasons why laughter is powerful:
- Boosts immune system
- Burns calories (10-15 minutes = 50 calories)
- Oxygenates tissues
- Reduces stress
- Helps us connect with others
- Increases creative problem solving
- Reduces status differentials
When you laugh your body releases a flood of chemicals and neurotransmitters that boost your immunity, stimulate your nervous system, and your brain. Laughter activates the right hemisphere of the brain, which helps us with creative thinking, problem solving, intuition and making connections.
And if you’re an employer reading this article, consider the benefits of creating a Culture of Levity at Work. It’s great for the individual happiness of your employees but will also serve you well by reducing absenteeism and increasing company loyalty, productivity and employee satisfaction. What can you do to bring more laughter into the workplace?
So instead of reaching for your phone and checking your email as soon as you wake up, try laughing—for no reason at all (HAHAHAHAHA!) or by watching a funny video or reading some jokes. When you feel anxious before a presentation or big meeting, try laughing. When your energy is waning at the end of the day or you have trouble concentrating, try laughing. Laughter will not make issues magically disappear but it will give you a few moments of freedom. Make a chart to track how many times you laugh in a day and challenge yourself to laugh more by the end of the week.
Let the laughter in. The less stressed, happier, version of you may wonder why you didn’t do this before. And then you may find yourself in a fit of laughter.
Creative Juice Readers, we want to know:
- What holds you back from laughing more?
- Have you tried laughing to reduce stress? If so, do you have any tips to add to help others with their laughing journey?
Share your answers in the comments section below!
Ida is the Founder & President of Ability to Engage, LLC. Ida leverages her 10+ years of brand and marketing experience at major CPG firms (Procter & Gamble and The Coca-Cola Company) and her experience with consumers and teams around the world, to develop and co-create brand equities, architectures, and consumer segmentation as well as marketing strategies. Ida holds three degrees from The Ohio State University and six patents with the USPTO. Ida also loves to help others diffuse negativity and connect over laughter. She is a certified Laughter Yoga instructor and recently spoke at TEDx about how to feel “Happier in 5 Minutes”: Share the Laughter
For business inquiries: www.AbilityToEngage.com