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This Is Why People Who Laugh More Are More Productive Than You

This Is Why People Who Laugh More Are More Productive Than You

“He who laughs last, thinks slowest.” — Anonymous

The above quote is worthy of a good LOL, but it also speaks volumes about laughter and the workplace. Answer honestly: how happy and productive do you feel at work during dreadful days devoid of laughter? An inability to laugh at work can make the daily grind an excruciating process that seems to drag on at the rate of a blind, crippled turtle crawling through a pit of quicksand. Laughter isn’t merely an escape, but an asset that will help you be more productive. Below are seven reasons why laughter increases your productivity.

1. Laughter lightens your load.

“Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” — Mark Twain

Workplace stress is only as bad as you allow it to become (and if it really is too much to handle, stop reading this and start hunting for a more satisfying gig). That said, look for the amusing, funny, or interesting parts of your day for a much-needed laugh that will help you lighten your load: the lower-level manager who acts as if they are royalty; that awkward moment when a customer confessed something super inappropriate to you while you could do nothing but stare in horror; those ridiculous office pranks your co-worker plays on the rest of the crew. If you can’t find something to laugh at, you’re not looking hard enough.

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2. Laughter fosters a positive work environment.

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” — Charlie Chaplain

People who laugh together grow together. A team is much more likely to be successful if they are comfortable enough to laugh in each other’s presence.

3. Laughter draws people together.

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” — Audrey Hepburn

It’s a bit difficult to remain caught-up in workplace drama when you’re so tickled by a person that you can’t keep a straight face. Forget about your differences, search for your similarities, and yuck it up. You’ll all be better off for it.

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4. Laughter helps you re-charge.

“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.” — Victor Hugo

Do me a favor and smile right now. Feel silly? Too bad. Just do it!

Now: didn’t that make you feel a little better about whatever stressful thought is living inside your head? Smile even when you don’t feel like it. Remaining in a perpetual state of upset over your problems will not make them go away. Smiling, however, will give you a much-needed breather from all of that negative thinking you’re subjecting your poor, exhausted brain to.

5. Laughter cuts through tension.

“No matter what your heartache may be, laughing helps you forget it for a few seconds.” — Red Skelton

The stress response is a nasty state to find yourself in. Rushed breathing, sweaty palms, overwhelming inner-chatter, and an inability to think are some of the reactions you can look forward to when stress takes over. But it doesn’t have to be this way! A quick bout of laughter will stimulate your circulation and relax your muscles, reducing the stress symptoms and improving your ability to focus.

6. Laughter boosts creativity.

“Laughter is America’s most important export.” — Walt Disney

Laughter is like creativity-juice for your brain. Being able to laugh at work frees you from stress and anxiety, two things that will drain your creativity faster than you can say “bruhaha.” Free from a fear of being criticized or judged, you’ll be more likely to think of creative solutions that are innovative.

7. Laughter makes people happy to work.

“If you are too busy to laugh, you are too busy.” — Proverb

Let’s face it: if we don’t like being at work, we’re just not going to do an amazing job. It’s hard to be interested in work that leaves us feeling apathetic, drained, or depressed. But if we work at a place where smiles and laughter are the norm, we’ll be more than happy to apply ourselves because we feel good while we’re there.

Laughter is contagious so make sure you share this with your co-workers so you can all be more productive at work. Oh, and I do love to laugh myself, so would you be kind enough to tell me a funny story from your work life in the comments?

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on October 16, 2019

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Do you like making mistakes?

I certainly don’t.

Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

  • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
  • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
  • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
  • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

  1. Point us to something we did not know.
  2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
  3. Deepen our knowledge.
  4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
  5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
  6. Inform us more about our values.
  7. Teach us more about others.
  8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
  9. Show us when someone else has changed.
  10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
  11. Remind us of our humanity.
  12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
  13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
  14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
  15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
  16. Invite us to better choices.
  17. Can teach us how to experiment.
  18. Can reveal a new insight.
  19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
  20. Can serve as a warning.
  21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
  22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
  23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
  24. Remind us how we are like others.
  25. Make us more humble.
  26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
  27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
  28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
  29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
  30. Expose our true feelings.
  31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
  32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
  33. Point us in a more creative direction.
  34. Show us when we are not listening.
  35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
  36. Can create distance with someone else.
  37. Slow us down when we need to.
  38. Can hasten change.
  39. Reveal our blind spots.
  40. Are the invisible made visible.

Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

The secret to handling mistakes is to:

  • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
  • Have an experimental mindset.
  • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

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Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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