All parents hope to raise happy, healthy kids, and teaching your child the power of laughter is a simple, yet effective way to build confidence and understanding early on. Infants begin smiling during the first weeks of life and laugh out loud within months of being born. Cultivating a sense of humor early in life can help keep your child laughing, smiling and happy for years to come.
Teaching them that “laughter is the best medicine” is a great way to help kids, as well as adults. Laughter has many health benefits and has been proven to:
- Relax the whole body by relieving physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
- Strengthen your immune system by decreasing stress hormones and increasing immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
- Trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemical that promote an overall sense of well-being.
- Diminish pain through the resulting endorphin release.
Here are some ways to encourage laughter in your home and teach your little ones to laugh more!
- Smile. Smiling is the beginning of laughter. Like laughter, it’s contagious. When you look at someone or see something even mildly pleasing, practice smiling.
- Count your blessings. Literally make a list. The simple act of considering the good things in your life will distance you from negative thoughts that are a barrier to humor and laughter.
- When you hear laughter, move toward it. When you hear laughing, find out what is funny! People are happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again and feed off the humor you find in it.
- Spend time with fun, playful people. These are people who laugh easily–both at themselves and at life’s absurdities. Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious.