Benefits of Laughter in Coaching
Today we are talking about a topic I have never seen addressed in coaching. Usually my posts cover more serious subject matter but here I want to talk about the benefits of laughter to you and your clients. An up-level in attitude can at times make all the difference in perspective and outcome. It should be our goal to make every day of our lives enjoyable.
One of the ways to do this is to add more laughter. We can use the benefits of laughter personally and bring it to coaching sessions as well.
To begin, let’s take a few minutes to consider our attitude towards life in general. Are we so busy and care-worn these days that we miss all of the beauty that surrounds us? Are we struggling to make it to the end of each day?
If you are completely honest, can you recall the most recent time you had a good, hearty laugh?
A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing,
but a broken spirit dries up the bones. ~ Proverbs 17:22
The truth is that the joy of the Lord improves every day of our lives. If you are not living with this reality I encourage you to pray for and be willing to receive a new attitude that will translate to a more joyful life.
Years of research on the topics of stress and joy have taught me that there are steps we can take deliberately, to feel better emotionally and physically.
One of them is to laugh. The physiological act of laughing releases endorphins that have been proven to make us feel better. When we laugh, it lifts our spirits and relieves worry. There are more benefits of laughter.
You will find it difficult to be stressed or worried and laugh at the same time. I think it’s a great idea to laugh every day if at all possible.
“Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease,” says HealthGuide. “Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.”
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of working with Pam Maldonado, one of our Master Christian Life Coaches on her book and each time we spoke, whether by phone or in person, there was an abundance of laughter. I tend to be a rather serious person but Pam was always so full of joy and laughter, that it was contagious. It was just a matter of minutes and we were both laughing.
If you were in attendance at a few of our Barefoot Mastermind Christian coaching conferences, you may have met Pam and her husband, Efren. They are always so much fun to be around.
My husband Evan is much the same way. He is always making me laugh and this balances my serious side. It’s his sense of humor that puts so much joy in my day.
Not only does laughter have many great benefits including improving our health and destressing our thoughts, but the best part is, it’s FREE.
With laughter we have a solution for stress designed by God Himself and we can employ it at will, any time of day or night we please!
“Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing:
Then said they among the nations, Jehovah hath done great
things for them. Psalm 126:2
By laughter I’m referring to a good, long belly laugh … so much that you grin ear to ear and your sides ache. So much that others around you start laughing too. It’s refreshing to laugh this way.
Some of you may recall me telling you that years ago after Evan and I got married we went through some really tough times. It was then I asked him to tell me one of his jokes at bedtime so that we could end the day with laughter and sleep soundly.
This is probably a good practice to put into place today as well, instead of watching the news before retiring. It's another one of the benefits of laughter.
Even though laughter is not appropriate in some cases, there are other times when a little levity can help us see things aren’t as bad as we first thought.
Here are questions to bring laughter into coaching:
- What if you laughed about it instead? What would that feel like?
- If you could find humor in this situation, what would it be?
- When was the last time you had a really good laugh?
- You’ve been given a gift elephant but you discover that you can’t sell it or give it away. What would you do with the elephant?
Ok, I think you get the point. There are many ways to inject laughter into your sessions. I suggest you encourage laughter with your clients and in your own life. Discover what others think is funny or maybe you already know.
Statistics show that those who laugh daily live longer, happier lives.
“This is the day the Lord hath made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
~ Psalm 118:24
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