No Laughing MatterThere is nothing funny about feeling burnt out, dissatisfied at work, and stuck in a rut. But what do you do to get energized, enthused and engaged?

A good way to get inspired is to simply get out of your normal groove and do something different.

For example, can you remember some of the things you loved to do as a child. The more fun and wacky, the better!

Did you ever play outside in a hailstorm?

Dance around to your favorite song on the radio?

Climb a tree?

Build a fort with sofa cushions?

Allow a friend to blindfold you and guide you around?

Swing on a rope?

Whittle a stick?

What did you love to do?

Now ask yourself, “Is there any way I could incorporate any elements of those things into my workday?” Even if it is a bit of a stretch. What could you do?

Here’s what Sue did:

LaughingAs a child, Sue used to love raking huge piles of leaves and jumping into them. So one day, when she was feeling particularly frustrated about a project at work, she went out to the local park at lunchtime, found a private spot, gathered a huge pile of leaves, and kicked and jumped around in them.

She admitted that at first, she was kicking up the leaves in anger and frustration. But after a few minutes she was laughing out loud. Sue went back to work feeling lighter and definitely in a better mood.

Taking time to play increased her energy and released the tension she had been feeling. That, along with the laughter, gave her a fresh perspective, and she was able to view her project from a much more resourceful place.

Sue said the best laugh of all was when she got home that evening and her daughter asked her about the leaf stuck to the back of her jacket. Nobody had mentioned it all afternoon!

Don’t underestimate the power of laughter. In fact, Dr. Lee S. Berk, a preventive care specialist and psychoneuroimmunology researcher at Loma Linda University’s Schools of Allied Health and Medicine, and his colleagues have done numerous studies on laughter.

Man LaughingWhat they found was that repetitious “mirthful laughter,” which they call Laughercise©, causes your body to respond in a way similar to moderate physical exercise.

Dr Berk said that laughter enhances your mood, decreases stress hormones, enhances immune activity, lowers bad cholesterol and systolic blood pressure, and raises good cholesterol.

And that’s no laughing matter!

In addition, doing something that is outside of your normal routine can be invigorating, especially when we associate the activity with something fun, as Sue did.

So what could you do today to introduce fun and into your work and home life?

Even one small thing could make your day!

So do take the time to recharge yourself.