WOW Word-Of-the-Week #367: Mirth

August 15, 2011 by  

Mirth – laughter, gaiety, or merriment.

Did you know that children laugh 400 times per day compared to an average of 17 times for adults? When is the last time you laughed out loud? Do you ever laugh so hard you cry? Do you know that the more mirth you experience the healthier you will be?

Last week’s WOW generated lots of great feedback so I thought I would build on that this week.  I’m going to give you 3 good reasons why you want to have more FUN and mirth in your life!

1. They say, “Laughter is the best medicine” and if you want to lower your blood pressure this is one easy way to do it. “The physical act of laughing causes the tissue forming the inner lining of your blood vessels to expand, allowing for an increase in blood flow. Laughing at a funny movie causes them to dilate by 22%. The magnitude of change is similar to the benefit you might see with aerobic activity, but without the aches and pains,” says Dr. Miller in Men’s Health Magazine.

Giggling Grandchildren

2. Laughter Improves Relationships. Psychology professor Dr. Doris G. Bazzini’s study on laughter, January 2007 issue of the journal “Motivation and Emotion” says, “When you reminisce about laughter, it makes you laugh again. When couples reminisce about laughter together, it makes them feel closer and creates a stronger bond. It might create a greater sense of ‘we understand each other.’” (This applies to friends too)

3. Mood Effects Work Performance. “Start-of-day positive mood spills over and affects positive employee mood during the day and likewise, start-of-day negative mood spills over and affects negative employee mood during the day. They are more powerful than mood changes caused by events in the workplace,” say researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” – Charlie Chaplin

I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to waste any days! This week focus on creating an environment that promotes laughter. Do you start your day focusing on the positives in your life? If something negative happens are you able to not let it affect your whole day? Do you have a “start-of-day positive mood” plan for your staff?

Reader Responses

“I love your ‘thoughts for the week.’ I ask each morning what are you going to do ‘for fun today?’ Mentor of mine taught me that years ago.  It is very important! It keeps me balanced. ” – Katie