Don’t you love hearing those deep-rooted belly laughs? Or better yet, experiencing them yourself? When is the last time you had a side splitting laugh?
Laughter is a great stress reducer, and that’s no joke! According to WebMD, studies show laughter is beneficial to your health. People who laugh more often are healthier and have lower blood pressure. Laughing more helps enhance teamwork and defuses conflict. Laughter also helps release endorphins which then fights off sickness. Overall, people who can laugh more at life’s circumstances are happier.
Maciej Buchowski, a researcher from Vanderbilt University suggests laughter can burn calories too! He conducted a small study in which he measured the amount of calories expended in laughing. Guess what? It turns out that 10-15 minutes of laughter burned 50 calories! So, get to laughing friends. Who doesn’t want to have these amazing benefits of laughter in their daily life?
How do we find humor when parenting is such hard work? Often times I find myself getting so caught up in routines and schedules that I let spontaneity and silliness go astray. Hearing my girls roar with laughter and cackle with delight makes our entire household feel lighter.
This situation happened quite a few years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I was pregnant with my third child, and my two daughters were five and not quite two years old. We were having “quiet time,” or so I thought. They were in two separate bedrooms, and the two year old’s room had a baby gate across the door. I was in my bedroom trying to rest for a short amount of time. I heard laughing and soft voices thinking to myself, “I guess my five year old is looking at a funny book.” It continued, so I decided to go see for myself. When I opened my five year old daughter’s door, she was not in her bed. I went across the hall to my two year old’s room. I released the baby gate and opened the door. There on the carpet sat the two of them covered from head to toe in magic marker. At first I wanted to cry. Then I wanted to scream. Instead I started laughing. I mean belly shaking, rip-roaring laughter! They looked at me with wide eyes and amazement. I don’t think they knew what to do. Then, we all started laughing, and eventually I put them in the bath to get clean!
There are so many moments in parenthood that can be made lighter if we just let ourselves laugh. I’m not suggesting there be no discipline or consequences. There is an appropriate time and place for both. I am suggesting that you let things lighten up a little. Laughter is such an important tool to have when raising children. When you allow yourself to find humor in the midst of the chaos; it lets you embrace motherhood and this season of your life.
Some ways to incorporate laughter into your mothering:
Play games, dress up with your children, read joke books together, watch a funny movie, make goofy faces, dance silly, and just enjoy being together.
If you enjoy comedy and having an adult night out, there are some fun comedy spots in Charleston. Theatre 99 is located at 280 Meeting Street in downtown Charleston. This is an improv comedy show and so much fun. I’ve done a Girls Night Out here, and it really will get you laughing and relaxing! Their shows run on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Tickets are reasonably priced between $5-$12.00.
Black Fedora Comedy Mystery Theatre is located at 164 Church Street in Charleston. This is for folks who want to be included in the comedy. It’s an interactive show and loaded with laughs. Performances are held most nights during the week. Their prices are an average of $24.00.
34 West Theater Co. is located at 200 Meeting Street. This is a quaint little theatre with cabaret / bistro style tables. They serve up food, drinks, fun and laughter with performances on most nights of the week. Their prices run on average $25.00.
Did you know that April is National Humor Month? It’s true…this was created to bring public awareness to the value of humor. We all know that we begin our month with the day of hoaxes: April Fool’s Day on April 1st. Don’t let your laughter stop there. Grab your girlfriends and try out some of our local comedy clubs. Go get your giggle on! You won’t be disappointed, and hey, you’ll burn calories and lower your stress!!!
“All you need in the world is love and laughter. That’s all anybody needs. To have love in one hand and laughter in the other.” ~ August Wilson