When asked what is something that brings you joy in life? I would say laughter. Nothing better than laughing so hard you have tears of joy rolling down your face or laughing so hard your side hurts. There is a time and a place to be serious, however, sometimes even when life gives you lemons you have to laugh. Humor can be the best medicine!

When you go to bed at night and think about the day, ask yourself ,“what was good about it?” It maybe that you got what you needed to get done, or that you helped a person out, maybe you submitted a report before the due date, and the list goes on and on. For me, all those things are great, but one that I try and make sure is on my list daily is: did I laugh today?

Working full time, aiming for perfection and being a mom of three trying to do all the things is not always easy, but when you add laughter to life it can make stressful situations a whole lot easier. In the moment, things may not seem funny but looking back, ordering 20,000 staples instead of 20, purchasing the most miniature banker box or wearing the same outfit as your co-workers might actually be comical and be a story you can laugh at for years to come. In my experience, most mistakes can be fixed, so to stress about something is not worth it.  Lessons can be made when you make the wrong choice, so what I try and tell myself is that in the meantime, try and just laugh about it!

I know when I need a pick me up after a long day at work, talking to my five-year-old is a sure mood booster. They say kids say the darndest things and isn’t that the truth! At five, even the simplest story or joke told to me I cannot help but chuckle or smile. Another way to decompress and get a good laugh could be tuning in to a funny show, watching funny video reels, or telling a funny joke.

According to studies, laughing boosts your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, muscles and enhances the endorphins released by your brain. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, improves your mood, can help lessen depression and anxiety, and make you feel better overall. Laughter has several health benefits including lowering stress hormones and reducing physical tension throughout your body.

Here are five health benefits of smiling and laughing:

  • Decrease Stress
  • Strengthen Immune System
  • Improve Mood
  • Reduce Pain
  • Increase Positivity

Did you know that April was declared to be Humor Month in 1976? April Fools’ Day kicks off the month and is intended for individuals to play practical jokes on this day. Humorous Day is celebrated on April 19th. It is a day dedicated to finding humor in whatever situation comes our way, no matter how difficult. It is a day that encourages us to look on the bright side of life and a reminder that we can have a good time with humor and laughter.

I believe choosing to be happy is a mind-set.  Looking for reasons to be happy rather than disappointed makes life a lot more enjoyable.  You can have all those to-do lists and things to stress about, or you can laugh. Sounds like an easy choice to me. So, my question for you is have you laughed today?

-Lisa Bock, Director of Child Care Resource & Referral