Have You Laughed Lately

Posted on July 6th, 2012 by Beth | No Comments

My name is Beth Hancock, I am a wife, mother, and therapist. I have 2 children ages 7 and 3.  I have practiced pediatric OT for over 11 years and I have worked in Home Health and Clinic settings. The following was inspired recently and I had to share.

Have you laughed lately…. I mean really laughed.  Did you know that you use approximately 40 muscles when you laugh?  In my opinion, laughter is paramount with kids.  In my 3 year olds mind I can hear her thinking, “If its fun, then it’s worth doing”.  I can get her to do just about anything I want if I can make it fun and get her to laugh.  As adults we are the same way. I often watch my husband get a grouchy sales clerk to smile and laugh.  It is amazing how the mood is lifted and often the service is improved.  People (kids and adults) bring their best when they are happy. I just left a treatment session with 2 of our staff members who were using Stevie Wonder music as motivation for a patient during a treatment session.  Not only was the child engaged, the therapists were having a BLAST!  The energy was contagious. I heard it down the hallway and had to go see what the fun was about.  I think as adults we often forget how to laugh and have fun.  We get serious and think that if it’s fun it must not be productive.  Your assignment for today…find fun and have a laugh while you’re at it.

Below are a few “fun” reasons to laugh…

  • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

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