Laughter really is the best medicine—for some things. You’ve heard the phrase before and, according to the Mayo Clinic, it holds some truth. While a good sense of humor can’t cure all, laughing and joking around can help reduce your stress, improve your mood and make it easier to connect with others.
Humor in the Workplace
The benefits of humor extend far beyond your personal life—they can be achieved at work too. Humor in the workplace can:
Provide a non-confrontational means of talking with others without intensifying emotions.
Help put difficult situations in perspective.
Reduce stress by activating a physical response in the body—it can actually make you feel more relaxed and ready to take on difficult tasks.
Serve as a pick-me-up in the middle of a long workday.
Help boost your mood, especially if you’re having a bad day.
Help foster positive professional relationships with your co-workers.
Things to Consider
Humor has a place in the office, but only if you know when and where it belongs. Be sure to avoid:
Jokes about someone’s sexuality, religion, ethnicity or personal appearance
Jokes that are sexual in nature
Comments that put others down
Serious subjects like death, disabilities or sexual harassment
Jokes that carry negative messages (If you wouldn’t say it in a conversation, don’t say it in a joke.)
According to the University of Maryland's research, humor may raise your body's level of infection-fighting antibodies and immune cells.
Next time you’re feeling stressed out at work, tell a joke or two. Remember to be mindful of your audience and the types of jokes you’re telling to ensure that you’re only introducing positive humor in the workplace.