• 95 per cent of people who take part in online laughter sessions know how to make themselves feel happier
• 89 per cent know how to make their colleagues happier
Thousands of workers are using their funny-bones to reduce back-to-work stress and anxiety as a result of taking part in free webinars for Mental Health Awareness Week.
The scheme is the brainchild of former stand-up comedian and founder of Laughology, Stephanie Davies, who teaches people and organisations about the power of laugher and humour.
Over 2000 people have taken part in the sessions, designed to boost mental health and help people cope with uncertainty as they return to work. 95 per cent said that afterwards they knew how to make themselves happier. 89 percent also said they were confident they could help their colleagues to be happier too.
Stephanie is CEO of Laughology, a training and development provider which prioritises happiness and mental health. She is an expert on the science of laughter and author of Laughology: Improve Your Life with the Science of Laughter. The free weekly virtual sessions have been attended by teachers, NHS nurses, managers and workers.
Their success has led a request from the NHS for a session exclusively for nurses which will take place w/c 25th May
Stephanie said: “Even before the corona virus pandemic, mental health issues were the number one cause of long-term absence among UK workers. Lockdown will undoubtedly exacerbate this issue. Supporting people to be mentally ready for a return to work, and to cope with changes in work patterns and practices, is a major challenge for organisations. Research shows that humour and a good sense are important personality traits that help people cope with adversity and be resilient.
“The good news is humour is something that can be taught and learned. These sessions are designed to be a fun way to help people feel better about the challenges they are facing.”
Research shows that people who see the funny side of life’s mishaps are likely to interpret and react to stress more positively, buffering themselves against some of the negative effects. For example, an Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis study of firefighters found those who used humour to cope were less likely to experience PTSD and burnout.