Career Trends: A little laughter decreases stress and improves productivity

4 min read

Edition: October 16th, 2021
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

Focus on the fun and funny things in life. (Image Source:
  • Excerpts from article by Shep Hyken, published on Forbes

The beginning of COVID-19 pandemic may have been one of the most stressful times. The entire world as we knew it came to what seemed like a screeching halt. People were concerned for their jobs, their families and their future, not to mention their health. 

Many companies were forced to adapt to new ways of doing business, which they hoped would be temporary. Here we are, a year and a half later, and while we seem to be back to some sense of normalcy, it’s still quite different. People are still stressed, and as a result, productivity can suffer.

Humour is the new mindfulness. You can actually train your brain to see and experience humour more often. Humour creates a chemical reaction in the brain that can elevate one’s mood.

The research proves that happier employees are more productive. When you find something funny, your brain is flooded with a dose of happiness. And dose is an acronym, as in D.O.S.E.

  • D is for Dopamine
  • O is for Oxytocin
  • S is for Serotonin
  • E is for Endorphins

You don’t have to be naturally funny to become good at using humour. Humour is not a talent. Humour is a habit. The first step is to self-train your brain toward a funny focus. You become intentional and aware of finding humour. And the more you do it, the better you’ll get.

Here are five suggestions for putting humorous habits in your life: 

1. Curate a personal comedy collection

  • Thanks to social media, all you have to do is go to YouTube and you’ll find plenty of humour.
  • Once you find a video that makes you laugh, click the like button.
  • If it’s someone who posts a lot of humour, subscribe to the channel. 

2. Share your humour with a friend

  • Find a friend or colleague with whom you can share your newfound humour on social media.
  • Block a few minutes on your calendar to do so.
  • Research shows that even just the anticipation of humour can help to decrease stress. 

3. Purposefully find positivity

  • Don’t just read the business sections of the newspaper and watch the news.
  • Expand to publications & shows and even YouTube videos—that include humour and content that will make you smile and laugh.
  • In other words, be purposeful about finding humour.

4. Write a funny thing down

  • This is an exercise that may cause a little “brain pain” at first.
  • Write down at least three funny things every day, it’s called becoming “humour aware.”
  • The research has found that people who write down at least three funny that they noticed each day for just one week can increase happiness and decrease depression symptoms for up to six months. 

5. Take a funny break

  • Schedule a specific time to take a break and watch a funny video.
  • You can find the humorous video yourself, or this is a perfect way to utilise an appointed director of HR (Humour Resources)
  • And why do this alone? Include some others on your team.
  • Everyone deserves the rewards and benefits of humour.

Focus on the fun and funny things in life. It’s easy to find things to worry about, but if you train yourself to look for things that make you laugh, you’ll find them too.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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