Inspiring Workplaces: Bite Into a Humor Sandwich to Reduce Stress

Published: Wed, 12/13/23

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Inspiring Workplaces 
The Way Work Ought to Be!
ISSUE 1,001 - Dec. 13, 2023
    Bite Into a Humor Sandwich to Reduce Stress

A study cited in the book The Secret Life of Secrets found that when participants were told they could experience a series of funny New Yorker cartoons after giving a 5-minute speech, the group that anticipated the positive experience felt better going into the speech than the group that viewed the cartoons beforehand. Having something to look forward to, the researchers suggest, helps lower our anxiety before a stressful event.

There are, as well, also studies that show how beneficial it can be to experience a laugh before a stressful event. In one study, people who watched funny videos before a speech experienced lower heart rates and less stress.  

Given this, why not plan a humor sandwich the next time you are anticipating a stressful event? Engage in humor that is relevant for you before the event to calm your nerves (studies show the more the humor reflects your own personal taste, the more beneficial it is as a stress buster) and plan for a positive reward after the event.

I have friend who years ago was undergoing chemotherapy, and she always planned a fun reward/experience to do once she felt well enough after each treatment. She raved about the impact it had on her outlook and how effectively it minimized her anxiety going into each treatment.

And as shown in the New Yorker cartoon study - it doesn't take much!
    Mike's Fun at Work Tip
A meeting icebreaker question that always generates some chuckles: What is a hidden skill/talent you think you might possess? Or, based on absolutely no evidence - what job do you think you might be great at?
    Quote of the Week

"People are not afraid of change, they are afraid of uncertainty." Joe Tye
    Funny Business
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