Laughter for the Inner & Outer Child

Laughter for the Inner & Outer Child

During an English grammar class with 2nd graders, after explaining the conjunctions “and”, “or”, “but” etc, to the children, the teacher asked the class to make a sentence with “but”. One child got up and said “Can I show you my but?”  The entire class reverberated with laughter for almost 5 minutes until they could not laugh any further. They gasped for breath and their tummies ached as the giggles subsided.

Laughter – the most positive experience of life!

How often do we get to laugh like that these days? Research says that the average person only laughs 3-4 times a day compared to 15-18 times a day 30 years ago. Children usually tend to laugh 400 times a day. When was the last time you saw that happening around you?

We have heard it time and again that laughter is essential for all of us to live life to the fullest. As with so many other truths, the changes in our lifestyles have taken away one of the most positive life experiences from us. Children and adults seem to laugh less as each day goes by.

Laughter is something that each one of us shares with everyone else irrespective of language, race, religion, geography etc. Laughter happens with babies that are a few days old and even with children who are born deaf or blind. Laughter is one uniting factor of mankind. It is a way for us to be a part of a group and help us feel more comfortable with others.

Scientifically speaking, laughter helps our body release into our brain a chemical called serotonin, a ‘feel good’ hormone. This prevents us from feeling stressed and helps our bodies work in a better and more relaxed fashion. It has also been found that laughter helps improve our immune system so that we can fight diseases.

What are the positive impacts of laughing on our health?

  • Improvement in blood circulation, memory, immune system, release of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers), problem solving capability, creativity, oxygen levels in the body, anti-aging and longevity.
  • Reduction in stress hormones and blood pressure.

An interesting fact: While laughing, we use about 15 of the facial muscles. Laughing 100 times is equal to spending 10 minutes on a rowing machine or 15 minutes on a stationary bike. No wonder laughter therapy and laughter yoga are new techniques being promoted in the market.

We all want children to achieve success in school and in outside life. By pressuring them to overachieve to compete with others or by letting them sit in front of a computer or play video games for extended periods of time, we are limiting their all-round growth. A good sense of humor is magnetic to children. If we can ensure they get a good daily dose laughter and fun, they will automatically grow up to lead a happy and satisfying life.

Here are some simple ways to add laughter to our lives:

  1. Reading bed-time funny stories or jokes helps children understand text, language and voice signals as well as relaxing them before sleep.
  2. Helping them mingle with other funny and happy children keeps them joyful.
  3. Playing sign language charades and mimicking games really makes kids laugh. It is also highly stimulating for brain growth.
  4. Joining in the laughter when children find something funny and encouraging them to add to their funny situation is incredibly bonding. Watching funny movies and laughing with your children is as well.
  5. Tickling is defined by many child psychologists as an integral bonding activity between parents and children. Playing a “tickling game” should be a regular on your “To Do” list.

Active children are humorous and happy!

Physical activity boosts the blood flow to all sensitive parts of the body like brain and nervous system. Fresh blood with plenty of oxygen improves a child’s body and enhances the power of concentration, attention and thinking. This will promote clear thinking, step-up creativity, stimulate the brain power, enhance concentration and provide conditions that are conducive for raising IQ.

Introduce jokes early in your child’s life and watch your child perform better in class as well as other activities.  Also, please be there with your child whenever they need you. Children must be reminded that life is about having fun and being happy.

Kids never laugh only by mouth, they laugh with the whole body. When you laugh through the whole body, your whole body is flooded with energy.  That is why kids are so alive but we people we are actually jealous with kids.  That is why we try to control them by ordering, “Keep quiet! Sit still! Sit straight! Sit in a corner! Who asked you to draw on the wall?”  Never think you are helping your kids; you have a subtle kind of jealousy. You are not able to manage, you are not able to put up with the energy bubbling up within them. So much of joy is too much for us. That is why we always control our kids. Once they have become dull, dead buffaloes, we sit back satisfied. So, just allow the kids to open up with laughter and laugh along with them! ~ Nithyananda