Advice from my six year old girl on laughter:
"laftr is the best metisin to mak you hapy!"
Normally, when we hear that something is contagious, we run the other direction! But there is one thing that is contagious in life that most of us happily welcome and that is: laughter. Usually, when we see someone laughing, it is difficult to resist the urge to start laughing ourselves. Especially when a little child starts cracking up-the sound of their honest and happy laughter ignites joy inside us, and before we know it we are cracking up with them. I love hearing the sound of my little girl laughing-it's like the heavens are singing and everything in that moment is pure bliss! The great thing is when she starts laughing, I start laughing with her and everything in that moment is good. Laughter is not only contagious but it brings people together.
Two very different people can come across something that they both find funny and in that moment they connect to one another through the power of laughter. A sad, sorrowful, or difficult moment can instantly change into a moment of happiness and love through laughter. The brightness and healing energy that laughter carries with it is life changing. The most amazing thing is that it is something that everyone has access to in any given moment of their lives!
As we shared in our first blog, laughter has been proven to relax our bodies, boost the immune system and help relationships last longer. Laughter helps us not be so hard on ourselves, to take things less seriously, and retain the ability to enjoy life. I've learned that laughter also gives us the opportunity to see a situation from a different perspective and go deeper to realize that maybe some of the stress we are feeling from that situation is self-made.
Laughter helps lighten the drama we create in our lives. When that happens, we can see a situation more clearly and discover a new way to approach challenges. Laughter lets us play and let our inner-child loose, embracing spontaneity and writing a happy moment in our memory! One of my favorite things to do with my daughter is make funny videos of ourselves and then watch them together to laugh at our silliness. It gives me a chance to be spontaneous and put aside my "to-do" list to just be a kid with my little girl. We make goofy faces, use filters to distort how we look, and have a ball laughing at ourselves and enjoying each other's company! Those moments are something I will always cherish and know she will always remember as well.
Laughter is an important part of our children's lives. It can help shape them and create wonderful memories in which they can look back on as an adult. According to KidsHealth.org, "kids with a well-developed sense of humor are happier and more optimistic, have higher self-esteem, and can handle differences (their own and others') well. Kids who can appreciate and share humor are better liked by their peers and more able to handle the adversities of childhood — from moving to a new town, to teasing, to torment by playground bullies."
Here are my top ten suggestions for adding more laughter into your life:
Set aside time for a funny movie as a family. This may seem obvious but children really appreciate this as it becomes a kind of bonding for them when the whole family gets to laugh together.
Practice silly faces.
Take turns with your kids pretending to be different cartoon characters.
Come up with funny "what if's" that you can laugh at with your kids.
Practice good old fashioned knock-knock jokes on each other.
Read a funny book together. I recommend a fun and colorful joke book for kids called "What Underwear Does a Zebra Wear?" by Elle Muliarchyk and her daughter, Henley!
Dance a silly dance!
If your children still have blocks, build big towers and pretend to sneeze, knocking them over!
Just laugh. It may seem strange at first, but it will soon become real, and contagious!
Now we would like to know:
What makes you laugh?
Share your response with us in two ways:
Comment on this post below.
We would love to hear what makes you laugh and share it with everyone else!
Laughing is so important, don't let a day go by without it!