How about a “laughter break?”

'''The proverb “laughter is the best medicine,” is so old and well-used that we no longer remember its origin. I was first introduced to it as a kid reading “Readers Digest,” in their column “Laughter is The Best Medicine,” a column still being published. And I was delighted as a graduate psychology student, years later, to find that the old saying actually had research to back up its truth.

I think what brought laughter-as-treatment to the forefront of popular consciousness was Norman Cousins’ book, Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient. Cousins wrote about how he developed his own recovery program for a serious illness, a great deal of which relied upon a positive attitude and a great deal of laughter.

Since that time, much research has been done in the physical and psychological benefits of laughter. The beneficial effects of laughter are profound and long-lasting. But even better, some of them are immediate.

Who doesn’t want to do something that makes you feel good right away, is contagious, makes other people around you feel good right away, and makes you more socially attractive?

Dr. Joe Kosterich wrote an excellent article explaining these basics, which I published earlier today. Not surprisingly, it’s titled “Laughter is the Best Medicine.”

I’d like to put together the research on the benefits of laughter with the current research on the harm that so many of us do to ourselves by sitting so much each day. To remind yourself of some of the harm sitting does, go back to an earlier article on this blog where I included a borrowed infographic that explains it in detail: See “Are You Sitting Down for This? Sitting Kills.”

I’d like to suggest that you not only take breaks to avoid illness and injury from sitting, but also that you make some of those breaks “laughter breaks.”

Ever so often, get up from your chair, and go find some office mate to share a joke or a cartoon or a funny story with. It will get you a brief bit of exercise, it will help solidify your social/career network, and it will be fun. But before you do that, please take a moment to read Dr. Joe’s article.