How each one of us can contribute towards a positive work culture
At Hesse/Schrader – Germany's leading experts in recruitment, careers and personnel placement – they consider smiling to be a supreme discipline for winning people over. As they see it, a natural, open smile creates opportunities. The outward effect may be one-sided - but on the other side there is a feedback mechanism between body and soul.
"We don't laugh because we're happy. We're happy because we laugh", says Jette Keppler, yoga teacher and laughing yoga coach from Frankfurt. "That's one of the core beliefs upon which the Indian physician Dr. Madan Kataria based his theories when he established laughing yoga. He proved that laughter and its precursor, smiling, have many positive effects on the body." The interesting thing about this, according to the yoga teacher, is that it makes no difference whether we laugh because we find something funny, or whether we laugh because we're doing a laughing exercise.
It makes no difference whether we laugh because we find something funny or whether we just do it.
The laughing yoga coach has spent years helping people establish a greater sense of wellbeing and contentment in their daily work routine. "There's a real correlation between what's happening inside us and what's going on externally. When we laugh, we breathe more deeply. The body is supplied more effectively with oxygen. Blood pressure evens out. Stress levels plummet. And that stimulates the immune system."
When we laugh, we breathe more deeply. Stress levels plummet.
Anyone who has a real belly laugh from time to time will know how good your body feels afterwards. And how positive your mood suddenly becomes. Teams who have a chance to experiment with new things in a fun way and sometimes burst out in spontaneous laughter are more enthusiastic about doing their job than people who always have to be poker-faced and aren't allowed to make any mistakes. Children laugh more frequently than adults, yet everyone benefits from the endorphins that are released when we laugh.
"Laughing yoga training is becoming increasingly popular with companies because it liberates a new kind of energy and is a guaranteed ice-breaker for members of a team. Anyone who has spent time with others on such a cheerful, uninhibited basis will find that working together comes much more easily. That's why it's an ideal team-building strategy." Our expert is quite certain of this.
Continually reminding yourself that laughing is healthy and releases happiness hormones is enough to establish it in your daily work routine. "It's not about going round with an over-the-top smile on your face the whole time. But the next time you do have to laugh, just exaggerate it a bit. Laugh louder and longer. I bet you'll find it's infectious – to yourself and maybe to someone else as well!"