Next week, on April 14th, celebrate International Moment of Laughter Day by making someone smile and laugh. This is a day to laugh often and laugh loudly. After all, they say laughter is the best medicine!
For kids with autism, creating moments of laughter to their daily life can add immeasurable joy to not only their life, but yours as well. It may take months to detect a pattern of humor, but taking the time to observe what makes them laugh is well worth it. As you learn what triggers their giggles, write down these ideas in a journal. This is also a great place to write down some of the funny things your kids say. It is equally as important to realize when to stop – only you know when they have had enough stimulation.
Did You Know?
- When we laugh, our pulse, heart rate and blood pressure go up, we breathe faster, and we send more oxygen to our tissues. In other words, laughter can be like a mild workout – and offers the same advantages!
- Laughter burns calories like a workout as well! In a small Vanderbilt University study, it was measured that 10-15 minutes of laughing burned 50 calories.
- Laughing reduces the levels of stress hormones your body produces, which can result in a higher immune system performance.
- When you laugh, you activate T-cells – immune system cells – to kick in and help fight off sickness. Next time you feel a cold coming on, be sure to throw on a funny movie!
- By laughing, we release endorphins, the body’s natural pain killer. Laughing can help ease pain and make you feel good.
- Doctors have found that people who have a positive outlook on life, laugh and smile more, tend to fight off diseases better and live longer than people who tend to have a more negative outlook.
So, stay positive and laugh often!