Doctors can achieve greater success by getting to know their patients; similarly leaders will find their teams are more creative, productive and committed when they are given the freedom to have some fun.
The movie Patch Adams tells the true story of how a medical student introduces levity into a clinical profession that alienates patients from their caregivers. In the same way that doctors can achieve greater success by getting to know their patients, leaders will find their teams are more creative, productive and committed when they are given the freedom to have some fun. Furthermore there’s a wealth of scientific evidence that laughter keeps us healthy.
So here are 9 reasons why laughing is good for our health:
- When we laugh, our heart rate and blood pressure increase, dilating our cardiovascular system. When we stop, they decrease to below normal. Laughing ultimately lowers heart rate and blood pressure.
- Aside from improving our moods, laughter can reduce stress, help fight infection, and reduce pain levels. Two stress hormones, cortisol and epinephrine which suppress the body’s immune system, drop after a dose of laughter.
- Laughter causes positive changes in brain chemistry by releasing endorphins. It also brings more oxygen into the body with the deeper inhalations. When we laugh, we gulp in air. Because the cardiovascular system is already dilated, the oxygen moves a lot faster to already relaxed muscles giving our internal organs a massage and stimulating circulation. This is why we feel so good afterwards.
- Laughing balances the brain. During normal beta activity, the left and right sides of our brain look different under a PET (positron emission tomography) scan. When we laugh, both sides look almost identical.
- Laughing releases the body’s natural opiates (beta-endorphins) and relieves pain.
- Laughter releases anger, fear, guilt, anxiety and tension.
- When we laugh with other people it meets our basic human need for social inclusion.
- Laughter encourages us to focus on positive attitudes.
- Researchers have even found that after watching an hour of slapstick comedy the “natural killer cells,” which seek out and destroy malignant cells, more actively attacked tumour cells in test tubes.
Planning enjoyable activities for the future will certainly reduce so why not book your team onto our Laughter Workshop.
Watch the Patch Adams movie clip – laughter is the best medicine.