If you sit and watch your kids, it seems like they’re constantly in motion and always laughing. They laugh at their favorite television shows, they laugh at jokes… heck, they even laugh when they’re making a mess in the kitchen.
Yet, as adults, it sometimes feels like we laugh so rarely that we sometimes can’t even remember the last time we laughed. So why do kids laugh so much more than adults? And should we make an effort to laugh more too?
Why Children Laugh More Than Adults
According to Pete Cann, a laughter yoga instructor, there are several reasons why children laugh more than adults.
First and foremost, children have far less to worry about than adults. While parents are constantly concerned with financial stress, keeping the house clean and tidy, and working full-time, children simply get to live out each day with relatively little stress. And, as we all know, it’s much easier to laugh and enjoy life when you’re not stressed.
Similarly, children have a lot more free time on their hands than adults, which also gives them the opportunity to laugh more. Kids get to play video games, run around outside, and enjoy many more books than their parents do. This gives them more opportunities to laugh and have fun, which is great for kids but disappointing for adults.
Also, children often lack the same type of filter that adults have, which makes them more apt to laugh at anything they find amusing. If someone falls or gets hit in the face with a ball, it may seem humorous. In these moments, adults often try to hide or filter out their laughter, whereas kids just laugh anyway.
Finally, as Paul McGhee, PhD, of The Laughter Remedy points out, our sense of humor is usually tied to our developmental stage. This means that children often find things like puns and riddles hilarious, whereas many adults don’t see the humor in them anymore because they seem too simplistic. This can make a huge difference not only in what children laugh at, but also how often they laugh versus adults.
Why Adults Should Start Laughing More Often
Between everyday life stress and all of the extra balls adults seem to be juggling these days, it may seem like there’s never a good time to pause and laugh out loud. However, laughter can be important for our physical and mental health, so it’s worth making time for.
In fact, doctors at The Mayo Clinic say laughter can stimulate your heart and lungs, provide endorphins, stimulate circulation, encourage muscle relaxation, and lower your stress levels. In the long-term, frequent laughter also boosts your immune system, provides natural pain relief, and improves your mood. And, most importantly, laughter can help with depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions that parents deal with on an everyday basis.
Although it’s hard to find the time to do it, we all need to laugh a lot more. In fact, we should really all just sit down at least once a day and laugh as we enjoy the world. After all, it’s the best kind of medicine, amiright?
Previously published on Moms.com.