• Watching my kids acting silly and laughing hysterically while playing the ‘first one to blink game.’ made me flash back to a time when I was in college hanging out with a group of friends at a party (of course, what else was there to do?!). One friend suggested that we play the game called “The best time ever,” since things were fairly boring/quiet and no one had started drinking yet – an important point here. He explained that we would all, on cue, start to laugh as hard as we could, and he bet us that it would draw a crowd. So he began with his huge fake laugh and we all chimed in. It seemed a little awkward at first but within a minute or two we were all truly laughing – because watching others laugh at us was pretty funny. Sure enough within a couple of minutes, and long before our laughter had calmed down, we had a full crowd of people around us wanting to get in on the great time we were having. A funny game and a great lesson learned because it turns out that laughter is contagious, feels great, and is appealing to others.

    It’s important that if your children are being silly try to take a break from being a parent for a moment to laugh with them.

    Everyone knows that smiling and laughing feels wonderful and has positive social effects. But did you know that they have medical benefits as well? People who smile more – even if they are faking a smile – end up improving their mood and feel happier. Laughter decreases the levels of stress hormones and increases immune cell production in your body. Probably the only free, fun, and easy to take medicine that exists with no side-effects!

    Stress, anger and sadness ebb when you are laughing. Sharing laughter is a great way to bond with those around you – at work or at play. It can also get you out of a bind with the kids if you have a child who is getting upset or frustrated, or spiraling into a tantrum. If you act a little ridiculous and are able to make him/her laugh the tantrum will often subside. It’s important that if your children are being silly try to take a break from being a parent for a moment to laugh with them. These are moments that you want to savor and take advantage of!

    Be sure to seek out happy and fun people, watch movies that make you laugh, and try to see the humor in life whenever possible. It’s okay to laugh at yourself if you are beginning to take life too seriously. Smiling and laughing will bring joy to those around you, and make your life happier and healthier. After all, laughter really is the best medicine.