Laughter…is there really anything that you can do that is better than laughing? For me, nothing compares to it. I also bet, that if you think about it, you would have a hard time disagreeing with me on that statement.
Laughter truly is the best medicine as well. From a physical standpoint, laughter relaxes the whole body, triggers the release of endorphins, burns calories, boosts immunity, lowers stress hormones, and can decrease pain. From a mental standpoint, laughter helps ease anxiety, improves mood, and can strengthen resilience.
Most laughter is brought on through social situations, meaning it happens with and through interactions with others. Laughter in the social realm can strengthen relationships, promote bonding, and diffuse conflict.
Besides personally laughing, the most awesome and beautiful experience is listening to a child laugh. Children’s laughter is music to my ears. I relish the moments where I catch my kid’s belly laughing. It is truly the best sound in the world.
Laughter is contagious. Yes, that is a cliche but test it out! The next time you are in public make your child laugh and watch everyone around you…I wager that they begin to smile and may even join in the happiness. We are social beings and laughter is a prime attractor in life.
There is a crazy stat out there that reads something like this: Toddlers (children) laugh on average of 300 times a day. Whereas, adults only laugh an average of 20. I couldn’t verify how accurate that was (some say it’s a myth) but I do know that my children sure do laugh a lot more than I do. I think we can all agree that children habitually laugh more than adults.
So, how can you bring more laughter into your home life? Here are five simple things that you can do to encourage more laughter in your home.
- Smile. Smiling is the first step before any laughter begins. Smiles, like laughter, are also contagious. Smile at everyone and everything…and notice the effect that it has on others. Smiling attracts others and can transform any situation.
- Adopt an attitude of gratitude. Yes, I know, another cliche…but it is simple and an effective way to rewire your brain to smile. Share your gratitude with others as it opens a doorway to a stronger more appreciative relationship.
- Watch comedy shows with your family! This one is so simple that I don’t have much more to add. If you are going to tune in and pass some time, comedy shows/movies are always a great option.
- Self-deprecate! This one is really one of my favorites. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Self-deprecating humor is funny for everyone involved. It also teaches your child that no one is perfect and that is totally ok! It normalizes the experience of life and that no one can be perfect.
- Laugh at situations where things don’t go smoothly instead of showing anger/frustration. Like above this normalizes the situation and models a constructive behavior for your kids. Take a wrong turn driving? Drop an egg on the floor? Yell, something like “PLOT TWIST” and immediately provide levity to the situation.
Laughter is always a blessing and I cannot get enough of it. One additional thought here: study your children and figure out what they laugh at most…then play to that tendency. Doing so can provide a safe exit sign for them when they are triggered by difficult emotions.
Below is a clip my wife captured of my son laughing a little over a year ago…Enjoy!
Photo by via Unsplash.