Fun at Work

La-La-Laughter: Embrace The LOL

by ABFRLadmin | May 3, 2024

You don’t have to be Gen Z to LOL. This term existed way before Gen Z was around. Be proud if you’re a millennial, because you gave the world an undying acronym, and believe me when I say Gen Z can’t even!

This writer is in high spirits because humour is his sweet spot and the occasion calls for it. For World Laughter Day, I’m sharing my jesting privileges with the rest of you. It refers to humour yourself and your friends and teammates freely without being punished (but without insensitivity, I hope, because that’s not very nice).

Why now? Why the 5th of May? Let’s back up a little bit. World Laughter Day was gifted to us by Madan Kataria, founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga Movement in 1998. It is most often celebrated by gatherings of people in public places with the sole purpose of laughing. Yes, you may try this at the office. No, I don’t guarantee a reciprocal response by your managers.

So, need assistance on kicking the moment off? I got you! Let’s dive in…

Being Funny And Trying Too Hard: A Thin Line

Humour is a delicate art. Being funny is great, but there’s a thin line between natural wit and trying too hard (I’m speaking to all those who hopped onto the “look between Y and I on your keyboard” trend). It was funny when brands did it, it was funny when influencers did it, but why wasn’t it funny when my colleague did it? The key is TIMING! You’re more likely to make people laugh if you bounce off jokes naturally than making it seem like you’ve been trying to make one up for a few days, when the trend is already dead.

Imagine you’re telling a joke to your friend. You set it up perfectly: “So, this guy walks into a library…” They’re hooked, waiting for the punchline. But then… silence. You stare at a cobweb in the corner, nervously adjusting your glasses.  Finally, after an eternity, you blurt out, “Looking for a book!” Tumbleweeds roll past.

That, my friend, is the absence of comic timing. It’s like the spice in your laughter stew – gotta get the dosage right!

Here’s how it works with a good example:

Imagine you see a mime artist on the street, pretending to be stuck in an invisible box. It’s funny, right? But then, a REAL delivery truck backs up right behind him, beeping its horn. The mime freezes, then slowly starts to sweat. HILARIOUS! Why? Because the timing of the truck arriving perfectly aligns with the mime’s act, creating a surprising and funny twist.

So, comic timing is all about delivery. It’s the pause before the punchline, the unexpected turn of events, the knowing glance that makes the audience erupt with laughter. It’s the secret sauce that turns an okay joke into a knee-slapper!

Remember, even a serious situation can benefit from good timing. Imagine your boss walks in right as you’re struggling to staple a giant banner to the wall. If you play it cool and quip, “Just adding a little artistic flair, boss!” – that’s comic timing at work (hopefully your boss has a good sense of humour too)

Isn’t that what being funny is all about too? Timing! So, make sure you leverage the right moments to get that chuckle, chortle or snort out of your co-workers today, because the dopamine boost you get from making someone laugh is unmatched!

Why You Need The Occasional LOL Moments

The role of laughter in diffusing work stress is quite underrated. I’ve experienced it personally. When I am knee-deep in deadlines or stuck in a stressful situation, laughter (induced by my very capable and funny desk buddies) has quite frequently aided in giving me a serotonin boost. So, I am not exaggerating when I say laughter can truly, or at least attempt to, ward off the threat of a stress-induced meltdown!

Don’t forget to extend the LOL to your colleagues in need. Turn a boring/stressful situation around by cracking a well-timed joke, emphasis on the ‘well-timed’. Or lighten the load of someone having a rough day by means of a witty remark, we’ve all got one in us, find it, because it’s not just about laughter, it’s about preserving your sanity as well! Remember, a happy team is a productive team.

DISCLAIMER: Please develop a sensitivity for the seriousness of a situation before cracking wise, we take no responsibility for any glares you might receive!

The Power Of Inside Jokes

Yes, they’ve got power. The power to make you laugh EVERY TIME you think about them, and every team has some of them.

Inside jokes also provide a sense of belonging and aid in strengthening team spirit. What else do they do along the way? They trigger a little love hormone called oxytocin, which is usually released during moments of bonding and social connection. So inside jokes can actually make you feel better on the inside!

Hack your Happy Hormones, when the Laughs aren’t forthcoming

Let’s give you a better intro to our happy hormones- Oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine are like a chemical orchestra in our brains, each playing a vital role in our mood, motivation, and social connection. Here are some ways to nudge them towards a feel-good symphony:

Oxytocin:  This hormone is often called the “love hormone” because it fosters feelings of trust and bonding. Physical touch is a powerful trigger for oxytocin release. Cuddle with a loved one, give your pet a good scratch behind the ears, or even offer a handshake or hug to a friend. Acts of generosity and kindness can also stimulate oxytocin production, so consider volunteering or doing a favour for someone in need.

Serotonin: Often linked to feelings of well-being and happiness, serotonin levels can be influenced by our daily routines. Soak up some sunshine! Even moderate exposure to sunlight helps regulate serotonin production. Exercise is another great way to get your serotonin levels singing. Physical activity triggers the release of serotonin, leaving you feeling energized and positive. If exercise isn’t your jam, focus on activities you find calming and relaxing, like reading a book, listening to music, or spending time in nature.

Dopamine: This neurotransmitter is all about motivation and reward. The key to stimulating dopamine is to focus on accomplishment. Set small, achievable goals throughout your day and celebrate completing them. Did you finally conquer that level on that new video game? Did you finish organizing your desk? Give yourself a mental high five!  Learning a new skill is another excellent way to trigger dopamine release. Whether it’s mastering a recipe, picking up a new language, or learning to play an instrument, the process of acquiring new knowledge and abilities lights a dopamine fire in your brain.

Remember, these chemicals interact with each other. By incorporating a variety of these activities into your life, you can support a healthy balance of oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine, promoting a more positive and fulfilling overall experience.

Find Your Happy, Boost Your Productivity

You feel that weight lift off your shoulders after a hearty laugh? That’s because laughter releases endorphins, mood-lifting hormones that act as the body’s natural painkillers. Laughing also makes your brain more receptive to new ideas and information. So, that funny meme you shared with your work bud might actually be boosting their problem-solving skills.

The lesson here? Give laughter the importance it deserves and watch your productivity skyrocket!

That’s my take on World Laughter Day folks. Not MUCH science here, just channels your natural humour, tickle people’s funny bones, and be productive along the way!

This writer is laughing at his life choices today, what are you laughing at?

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