Making time to smile
The post below is from the weekly email series and came in at number 6 in my two year review. Interestingly since August 2017 when I wrote this email, I have changed jobs and offices - when I walk past my old office - the picture is still on the door and it still makes me smile.
I have a tendency to email out those little inspirational quotes. Those words that can help us find meaning, hope and the will to carry on. The reminder - you are doing OK and that all will work out. The motivational sayings that can pick us up. I love them, I know others love them. Let's be honest though, they can backfire! Wrongly timed and you'll want to send them flying out the window and crashing onto the ground below with a satisfying thud.
There are those though, that just make me smile. They are silly, quirky and appeal to my sense of humour. Some weeks that is all you need or can cope with.
So this week I put one of those smile inducing quotes on the outside of my office door. The door is surprisingly heavy and slams shut with significant force.
Every time I have come back to my office this week I have smiled. A little smirk, sometimes a giggle. It was a little thing that brought a bit of joy into my day, every day.
So is a smile or laugh at work a good thing? This article suggests that a laugh can relax you, help you gain perspective and that will help build your resilience and enable you to move forward.
Is laughter and humour appropriate in a health care setting, when patients and families are at their most vulnerable? I was talking to a colleague this week on this subject and he expressed the joy that was injected into a tough situation made all the difference for him and he noticed on others around him. This article written from an emergency room perspective agrees with this concept.
In fact humour can help us build our empathy. This article from Mindful describes how humour can disarm situations, relive tension and help bring people together.
We can extend this concept to play. A literal game changer in that our minds free up, creativity and innovation can be tapped into. Play builds our social connections, reduces stress and encourages our growth. The wonderful people at Unstuck have a great printable card to help you introduce play into your day. To read more from Unstuck on the benefits of play look here.
I'll leave you with one of my favourite TED talks - The Happy Secret to Better Work - I challenge you to watch this talk and not smile or laugh.