Know! To Laugh Your Way Through The Holidays

The holiday season is upon us, as is the anxiety and stress that are likely to accompany it (for a variety of reasons). And where there is stress, there are people attempting to cope. How does that look in your home? If it involves you (parents) reaching for an alcoholic beverage or a cigarette to relax, consider what those actions so clearly convey to your child.

We’ve got a healthy coping strategy to help you through all the hustle and bustle; it’s one that doesn’t always get its due credit, but one the whole family can benefit from: laughter.

No joke, laughter provides powerful health benefits for the mind, body and spirit (for all ages).

Top Ten Reasons To Laugh More:

  1. Stress Buster: Stress hormones physically decrease during a good, hearty laugh.
  2. Improves Circulation: Blood vessels more easily expand and contract after laughing.
  3. Internal Workout: One minute of laughing out loud = 10 minutes on a rowing machine.1
  4. Strengthens Immune System: The body’s natural defense mechanism increases.
  5. Reduces Pain: Feel-good endorphins release to ease pain and provide a distraction.
  6. Diminishes Aggression: Release of emotion that helps us better deal with conflict.
  7. Perspective Changer: Allows us to look at things more optimistically.
  8. Social Booster: It helps people connect and build relationships.
  9. Magnetic Appeal: Laughing is fun, feels good, makes others want to be around you.
  10. Laughter is Contagious (like a smile): One of the few good bugs to catch & pass on!

There are many positive ways to deal with stress - laughter is just one of them. And while it will not get your house clean, take care of your gift list or mend every hurt relationship, laughter can truly help you breathe easier, lighten the mood, and allow you and those you love to enjoy this season and all that it can offer, a little bit more.

This holiday season provides an exceptional opportunity to model positive behavior for your children, not only in the sense of being thankful and giving to others, but in the sense of strengthening your core family bond. We encourage you to do something fun with your children; talk, laugh and just enjoy the gift you have - in having each other!

Sources: Frog Recruitment: Top Ten Reasons to Laugh. Laughter Yoga International: Harnessing Nature’s Stressbuster. WebMD: Give Your Body a Boost – With laughter. Strangely Charming: The Science of Laughter - Dr. William Fry: Stanford University.