Chuckle. Chortle. Giggle.
Laughter is associated with a multitude of feel-good benefits. For nurses who have a high degree of responsibility, yet often feel powerless in the workplace, laughter can help treat stress and burn out. Read Nurse.com’s CE course that covers the health benefits of humor and take the quiz at the end. You’ll gain one contact hour and a whole lot of insight.
Laughter is good for you because it:
- Improves the immune system
- Promotes oxygenation
- Elevates the heart rate (one minute of laughter = 10 minutes of rowing!)
- Relaxes the body
- May be associated with suppressed blood glucose levels
- Promotes sense of well-being
- Decreases stress
We know laughter feels good. But what do you do when you don’t have anything to laugh about?
You fake it.
That’s right. Studies show that the brain can’t tell the difference between a true laugh and a self-induced one. Whether for yourself or a patient, simulated or fake laughter is simple to implement. If you feel a little silly, great. That just might make you laugh harder.
Another study suggests that not only does good humor help in times of stress, but it can make the happy times even happier.
Practice Makes Perfect. Ways To Get In Some Extra Laughs
- Host a hospital wide belly laugh. Did you know there’s a Global Belly Laugh Day? Mark your calendars, because on January 24, 2014, you can take part in a laugh heard ’round the world. Or you can organize your own; pick a date and time and spread the word around your institution.
- Visit this hilarious website, What We Should Call Nursing. No one gets nurse humor like this nurse does.
- Laughter is contagious! Check out some YouTube laughter videos and you’ll be joining in before you know it.
Looking for more information on how humor can make a difference in the lives of nurses and patients? Read this article about therapeutic humor that highlights how some nurses are getting serious about laughter.