Part One – Laughter is the Best Medicine

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"A day without laughter is a day wasted."

               -Charlie Chaplin

Last year, we had a Word of the Month series that coincided with Joy's travel adventures. In addition to exploring a different country and culture every month, we also wanted to share a discussion about different emotions with parents, caregivers, teachers and kids. Read on to learn more on about the topic of laughter.

Just about everyone has heard the phrase, "laughter is the best medicine." But it turns out, that's actually quite accurate. Laughter may not cure you of any acute ailment, like the snake oils of the Old West, but overall, laughter is one of the most effective ways of generally improving your health.

One dose of laughter brings with it such benefits as reduced stress, whole body relaxation, improved immune function, decreased blood pressure and improved circulation which protects the heart. Perhaps one of the most impactful results from laughter is social bonding. Research shows we're 30 times more likely to laugh when we're around others, and that laughing is a powerful social bonding tool that helps form relationships and keep them strong. Couples last longer through struggles when they deal with stress by laughing together.

It's like nature's way of reinforcing your Mom's nagging to go outside and make friends. And your mom was right. Having a reliable social circle is critical to your lifespan, as being alone has been shown to be one of the biggest risk factors for mortality, being as dangerous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, or never exercising, and it's twice as dangerous as being obese.

Laughter is proof that humans are meant to be connected to each other, that we are built to be social, and that we need strong bonds with others in order to survive. So laugh, when you're alone because it's good for you, and with others because it's good for everyone. Use laughter with your partner to de-escalate stressful situations and stay attracted to each other. Laugh with your kids because it's good for their health, and great for your connection.

One of the best notes of parental advice I ever saw, was to take time to laugh with your children without tickling. As parents we're very busy, and when you want to laugh with your child a good tickle fight is a fast and effective way to give everyone some much needed giggles. But to engage your child and try and make them laugh through jokes and stories, that's a whole different adventure. Doing so will help build upon your existing connection with your child, creating a stronger bond through that shared moment of mutual laughter.

Now we would like to know:

What makes you laugh?

Share your response with us in two ways:

  1. Comment on this post below.

  2. Post your answer(s) on our Facebook page, Joy Sun Bear, or tag us on Twitter,@JoySunBear, and use the hashtag #laughwithjoy.

We would love to hear what makes you laugh and share it with everyone else! 

Hope you have a great week full of some laughs! 🙂

-John Lee

Co-Author/Illustrator

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