Life is stressful during these trying economic times. In the workplace, stability and security are for the most part, a thing of the past. For many, maintaining the status quo, catching up or even possibly getting ahead is a daily concern. As a consequence of dealing with constant work-related pressures, more and more people are developing and suffering from mental, physical and emotional conditions that are affecting their job performance.
Offering employees suitable programs to manage on-going stress is vital to keeping the job environment positive and workers functioning at their highest levels. One creative approach utilized by several companies around the world is offering on-site laughter yoga classes. For those of you not familiar with this relatively new style of body-mind exercise, laughter yoga combines simulated laughter exercises with gentle breathing techniques to teach the body how to laugh without relying on jokes or humor. One doesn’t have to be happy, in a good mood or have a sense of humor to reap the many benefits.
These unique sessions allow the participants to laugh at the source of their tension and ultimately release it. While not minimizing or trivializing what they are dealing with—if whatever is causing them strife can be laughed about— then it can be controlled and dealt with. This light-hearted approach works with a diverse audience, requires no special clothing or equipment and can be learned, practiced and enjoyed anytime! On top of that, the effects are immediate.
The benefits to the employee and employer are numerous and include:
Laughter is contagious. Seeing and hearing others laugh creates a chain reaction. This in turn causes a rise of positive feelings while negative emotions among the group dissipate.
Fosters Team Building
Everyone is equal when they laugh together. Barriers are broken down and communication improves. It doesn't matter what position or title one holds in the company. In this setting, everyone is on the same level and thus is viewed in a more cohesive manner. When sharing laughter, it is impossible to be angry or confrontational.
Enhances Leadership Skills
Good leaders recognize each member of their team and treat them with respect. During laughter yoga sessions positive emotions are shared among the group fostering a more congenial, cooperative work environment.
Boosts Creativity And Productivity
Laughter leads to playfulness and playfulness leads to laughter. This sparks right brain activity which is the source of creative thought. In this relaxed environment ideas flow freely and solutions to work-related issues come about more easily.
Promotes Employee Stability And Wellbeing
Laughter boosts the immune system, decreases anxiety, tension and stress and raises endorphin levels. This form of exercise improves the circulation and enriches blood with oxygen. Considered to be an internal jog, laughter provides an excellent massage to the digestive tract and enhances blood supply to the liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys and adrenal glands. Workers who are taken care of and appreciated tend to take less sick days, stay at their jobs longer and are more loyal and committed to their companies.
This is no joke!