How do you spend your lunch break? If you’re like an estimated 80% of professionals, you probably hurriedly eat your food while continuing to work.

About a year ago I realized working through lunch or skimming social media (sometimes good, sometimes boring, sometimes bad) was not great. Then I read a quote that was something along the lines of:

Laughter is the best thing for digestion (and sanity).

This totally clicked. I made a resolution to only watch laughter-producing videos over lunch. I now have a playlist of 5 to 20 minute videos to watch every day.

Not only can this simple activity brighten your day, allowing yourself to laugh freely as you watch silly videos also has some surprising perks.

If you think you don’t have time to take a lunch break, studies show you should find a way to make time.  According to Kimberly Elsbach, a research professor at UC Davis, our brains, just like our muscles, get tired when we engage in intense activities for prolonged periods of time, causing you to become less creative as the day goes on. Taking breaks, especially when you add in laughter, lets your brain relax and refresh so it’s ready to keep working.

The Benefits of Laughter:

Research suggests that laughter affects the body in many positive ways including:

  • It relieves tension. I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I’ve been working for several hours, my body feels stiff and uncomfortable. Laughing relieves much of that built up tension and leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter can help your immune system.  Some studies have shown that laughter boosts the production of immune cells and antibodies. This helps you get sick less often giving you even more to laugh about.
  • It releases endorphins. Endorphins are the feel-good chemicals responsible for the light-hearted feeling you get after a bout of genuine laughter. If you’re having a rough day, an endorphin rush is the perfect way to improve your mood.
  • Use Laughter to Strengthen Bonds. Would you feel awkward laughing alone at work? Invite your coworkers to watch your funny videos with you. Not only will it help put them in a better mood, but laughing with your coworkers is an easy way to strengthen your relationships.    

Everyone should have Laughter Lunch! So I made my playlist public and want to share you on it.

Here are my top ten favorites for you to start with:

  1. Jimmy Kimmel Lie Detective #1

2. Nerd Raps Fast in Compton

3. Real People, Fake Arms with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels

4. Andy and Ariana Grande’s Haunted House Adventure

5. Louis C.K. Sails His Boat Around New York City

6. Science of Twerking

7. The 12 Different Kinds of Awkward Laughs

8. Adele – Hello Parody (Hella Cravings)

9. Kid Theater with Matthew McConaughey

10. Dennis Quaid Has Some Hidden Camera Fun!

11. Bonus: My TEDx Talk in London (I’ve gotten really good at laughing at myself)

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