Did you know that the average baby laughs about 300 times per day and the average adult only laughs about 20 times per day? It was evident to me that children appear to laugh more than adults, but seeing these numbers is staggering to me. We must start a laughter revolution!
I think we all know that smiling, laughter and being positive is important, but why is it healthy? Research has demonstrated that it benefits immune function, pain tolerance and illness symptoms. It is a self care tool to cope with stress, gives a sense of perspective, and provides a physical release for accumulated tension. Feeling positive and experiencing laughter are an important part of well-being.
Its no wonder why they have implemented laughter/ comedy rooms and clown care units in hospitals, it has been demonstrated that laughter and joy are healing.
If we know of its benefits and it feels so good to do then why are we so deficient in laughter? Perhaps our daily responsibilities are weighing us down. Or are we getting caught up in a pattern of negative thinking and taking life too seriously? Often times what needs to happen is a shift in perspective.
So what does this statistic mean to me? I think that we are born innately happy and joyous and we need to find a way to rise above our day to day stresses and experience the world with child-like excitement. This is within us we just need to tap into our inner wisdom to see life positively and find the humor in all that we do.
What can you do to increase your daily laughter quota:
- LOL: Truly force yourself to laugh out loud, it feels good and laughter is contagious so perhaps you can share the positive effects of laughter with others.
- If this feels really unnatural to you try watching a funny movie. Either a movie you know that is funny or ask people around you what ones they find funny.
- Read a funny book. Ellen Degenerous’s ‘Seriously, I’m Kidding’ is a hoot! I typically read to fall asleep but this book keeps me awake from laughing so much.
- Spend time with others you find positive and lighthearted. Being in that space may encourage you to feel the same.
- Do something daily that makes you stretch out of your comfort zone and find the humour in your awkwardness. I believe surround myself with friends who celebrate their own and our collective awkwardness. We do ridiculous things together, but we also laugh often.
Why is it so important to start laughing and smiling? With all the relationship counseling I have been involved in one thing has been made clear to me: couples who laugh and have fun together, stay together. It is so important for healthy relationship functioning. We have identified that it is it good for your health, but it is also good for your mind and makes your day to day life far more enjoyable. Lately I have been challenging patients to imagine themselves looking back on their life, what does it look like? What would your life look like? What type memories do you want to make and how do you want to be remembered by your family? If we thought this way more often we might challenge our negative thoughts and make a greater attempt to enjoy the small moments in our life instead of stressing about how things should be. I challenge you to see life more positively and laugh out loud just a little more often.
Here is an affirmation you can say to start each and everyday when you wake up. Affirmations help us to be reminded of what we want to start focussing our energy and thoughts on. They also help us to reframe or replace our current thoughts.
Affirmation: I cheerfully and lightheartedly enjoy my day.
Wishing you much joy and laughter!
Living Like I Give A Damn,
Dr. Michelle Peris is a Naturopathic Doctor whose goal is to inspire health through educating, motivating and empowering people. She has a family based practice out of a clinic in Oakville, Ontario.
Contact Dr. Michelle today to book your 15 minute complimentary consult.