Raising Happy, Healthy Kids: The Benefits of Laughter
Ask any parent, grandparent, or second cousin once removed what they want for their kids. The answer is "I want my kids to be healthy and happy."
There's no fool-proof manual or golden rule to raising kids to be healthy and happy. And they don't come with instructions (wouldn't that be nice). But there are a few things you can do.
Laughter Is The Best Medicine
From physical health to mental health, there’s a lot of reasons behind the saying “laughter is the best medicine.” Science has shown that laughter is good for you.
First, laughing increases the release of endorphins – those amazing feel-good hormones. And The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research says laughter may improve your immune system, relieve pain, increase your ability to connect with other people and (most importantly) lessen feelings of depression and anxiety.
The Mayo Clinic also says laughter actually causes physical changes in your body! It can stimulate your heart, muscles and lungs, aid muscle relaxation, increase your intake of air, and “fire up” then “cool down” your stress response, making you actually feel more relaxed.
Laughter and smiling are contagious. We all know from experience it feels good to share fits of laughter with your kids, letting their infectious humour and giggles spread.
So it’s time to get yourself, and your family, laughing more together!
How to Get More Laughs In
At first, it sounds hard to actually plan laughter into your day. But as Charlie Chaplin says “a day without laughter is a day wasted.” Try to plan family activities that get you giggling!
Family games and activities that involve a bit of craziness are likely to tickle your funny bone. Like nerf or water fights, active games or silly challenges. You’re really only limited by your imagination. Charades, Pictionary, and family performances (like putting on a play or holding a family talent quest) are guaranteed for a bit of silliness and laughter!
So get out there and look to the fun side of life!