The Best Type of Infectious
Laughter really is the best medicine—and it’s contagious! Here’s why you need to keep it light, even (or perhaps especially) in the workplace
By Danielle Emel, National Administrator
On May 25, the Alberta government ended its two-week order of school closures. For those of you in Ontario, I apologize—two weeks must seem like nothing to you.
But for me, by the end of those two weeks, I was done. Past the point of languishing done. With three kids participating in online learning, one tenacious four-year-old, and an almost full-time job, I was so ready for the end of remote schooling that I was literally counting down the minutes.
When 5:00 p.m. hit last Friday, the final day of Alberta’s school closures, I took a few minutes to zone out on Instagram. One of the influencers I follow posted a simple video of her making a funny face while using the slow-motion feature on her phone’s camera. It made me crack up.
I decided to try it myself, and much to my amusement found it hilarious. I showed my kids the video and they all busted a gut and naturally wanted to make one of themselves as well. We spent a good half hour just laughing, and it was great.
I felt my whole mood change in a matter of moments. I felt lighter and happier, and I could see that my kids felt better too. It was such a small and silly thing that completely altered our moods.
I felt like I had won the Golden Ticket and thought, I must share this joy with others! So I sent my video to some close friends, family members, and coworkers. Pretty soon they were sending me their own videos, and the laughter continued.
Laughter really is the best medicine. It triggers the release of endorphins and encourages healthy physical and emotional responses. Laughter also strengthens the immune system, boosts your mood, and protects from the negative effects of stress. And when the going gets tough, whether at home or at work, a well-deserved laughter break can help you reset and reduce anxiety.
When you are bogged down with pandemic fatigue, I encourage you to take some time just to laugh. Be silly, watch a funny cat video, call up your bestie for the sole purpose of giggling, go to your family members and give them the funniest laugh you can—I guarantee that they will, in turn, start laughing as well.