We know it feels good to laugh. Many of you may not feel like laughing at all right now, and we understand! These days, with all the heaviness around us, laughing can seem elusive. You might even feel guilty. But the Bible tells us that, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22) Why is laughter and a happy heart good medicine? And how can you better laugh with your kids and family?
Here are three simple reasons about the importance of laughter:
1. It feels great! Few things in life feel better than hearty laughter.
2. It brings people together! It is rare to find something as connective as enjoying a huge belly laugh together with those you love. Laughter releases a variety of “feel good” chemicals in our brain including oxytocin. Oxytocin is the “empathy hormone” that promotes bonding between people.
3. It’s good for your body AND soul! Research shows that laughter makes you happier, healthier, and more alert. It really is medicine! In homes where laughter is absent there is often more stress and people are less physically healthy. One doctor’s research reveals that laughter increases antibodies which, in turn, helps prevent infection. Laughter also decreases stress hormones.
Even though it may be harder than it was just a short time ago, find ways to laugh with your kids:
- Watch funny videos! Here are a few of our favorites:
- Get a joke book and read it after a meal.
- Play charades as a family. There are several variations for all ages!
- Have a Silly String or Nerf gun war.
- Take time to do goofy things together.
When it comes to managing your health and well-being, laughter is difficult to beat. As you explore ways to integrate laughter into your life, don’t forget to thank God for the gift of laughter – a truly good medicine! Blessings as you seek joy and laughter to help you lead your family with grace.
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