Stopped in your tracks by pressures from financial woes? Tired of a job that’s going nowhere? Without good ideas to lead your next innovation? Let laughter crack you up and stir up new aha moments when you need them most.
Want much more than coping?
You can discover new initiatives through comedy, because a lighthearted attitude often brings eureka moments of unexpected inspiration. Even a fake smile can lower your stress! Research shows that with humor the brain increases activity in your anterior cingulated cortex, in preparation for problem solving.
Discover Laughter’s Innovative Triggers
When I taught at McGill University, and worked with Inuit leaders in the most Northern communities on Baffin Island, we laughed a lot. Especially when my English smacked up against their Inuktitut in ways that neither language made sense, laughter gave us meaning and communication beyond words.
Humor melds insights across ages, bridges beliefs, and draws the best from brains, often separated by barriers few can cross well. Researcher, Karuna Subramaniam at Northwestern University found that people with a more positive or lighthearted perspective stay focused better on one strategy and also shift brain activity to discover novel solutions. Have you seen it?
How Laughter Opens Minds
If tensions flee in the wake of a simple joke, and brainpower boost over a funny faux pas, what holds you back at work? Laughter may be the best balancing elixir of the human brain, and yet still tops the missing -list in most workplaces. Does hilarity hail from your circles to replace the doom that comes from media or fellow workers?
If you cut up over one-liners – you’ve likely also seen humor’s upshot to your brain when laughter leads to insight. You may not know however, that humor’s especially effective when people laugh at themselves. Laugh to lift morale, reduce tension or communicate differences in side-splitting style, and expect innovation to follow.
The man behind the hilarious memes, Ben Huh, gets 170 million visits to his online site daily because it gives 5 minutes of laughter a day. Not surprisingly, participants consistently rank humorous speakers as most effective, and humorous peers as favorite. Do you? Interestingly, while research also shows how lectures tend to work against human brains, at the same time, humor open minds to learn and retain more.
Facilitate Laughter that Builds Trust
Last week I spent time with my darling grandson Hendrik – who reminded me of the kind of laughter that propels trust!
Sadly, the opposite is also true. Wield humor to diminish people who differ, and nobody wins.
At its best, humor disarms people from attacking ideas before they can grow. Hendrik’s ever-ready humor wins delight from differences and reminds you of novelty that that comes with a positive mood.
You needn’t develop the skills of a successful stand up comedian to see laughter work in your favor. Bantering with a baby who laughs easily, can literally increase your chances for promotion, can ease negotiations in arduous meetings, or can even build trust among colleagues and clients.
Have you seen it happen?
It’s a win-win. Simply because humor involves additional operations and areas of the brain’s limbic system, it helps you remember more facts that lead to cutting edge discoveries. Laugh with a baby rather than stress over loses, and watch brain benefits follow. You’ll transfer cutting edge theories into highly innovative practices that most people crave.
Humor’s Further Brainpowered Benefits
Experts recommend humor to release endorphins, trigger health, increase relaxation, and alter brain chemicals in the direction of winning. How so?
1. Release endorphins into the brain so that pain can be reduced, and people appear happily distracted from difficult situations.
2. Trigger health by stimulating the immune system and connecting mind and body exchanges in positive and healthier ways.
3. Increase relaxation through added oxygen to the brain, better air exchange and fuel for deeper thought or learning.
4. Alter chemicals within the brain, in ways that reduce stress, lift emotions and contribute to and sustains a sense of well being.
Check out recent research on laughter’s exilir effects as it ratchets up both emotional and mental health, and you’ll likely set an agenda to bring more deliberate humor into your innovative initiatives.
How could comedy help you design innovative possibilities and help others through the brain’s mirror neurons? Perhaps old jobs no longer exist – but those who laugh are closer to novel initiatives that could become jobs to lead in a new era.