Be More Toddler – Learn to Laugh More!

The laugh of a toddler is an irresistible and contagious sound. It can be triggered by the smallest thing. A game of peek-a-boo, a noise, the pet dog or an older sibling – but when toddlers laugh, they really mean it. It comes from their belly, and their heart. They don’t care who’s watching, they’re not worrying about what happened this morning or what might happen tomorrow. They are one hundred percent in the moment. It’s pure, unadulterated joy. It’s a sound guaranteed to put a smile on even the grumpiest face.

And they do it a lot. Toddlers laugh up to 400 times a day! That’s a lot of joy. Sadly, as adults, we laugh a lot less and our lives are a little emptier for it. When did we stop being so present and finding the joy in the little things around us? Is it because we’re too distracted thinking about 101 things that we need to do, or too self conscious to allow ourselves to let go? Or do we feel that we’re just too grown up to be silly sometimes? Ok, of course we have more responsibilities and more worries than toddlers, and rightly so. But if we can learn anything from them, shouldn’t it be to live more in the moment, take notice of what’s going on around us, and just laugh more?

Research has shown time and time again that laughter is good for us. It reduces stress hormones and triggers happy ones. It stimulates our organs and relieves tension and if we laugh regularly, we can reap long term benefits like an improved immune system and pain relief. Real, uncontrollable laughing is also a great cardio workout and can leave us feeling energised and healthy. So there’s truth in that old saying that laughter is the best medicine. Plus, it just makes us feel happier and more optimistic, with the added bonus that laughter is contagious. People gravitate towards happy people, because it makes them feel good too. 

So how can we make ourselves laugh more? Is it possible to just ‘turn on’ the laughter? It might take us a while to get going with this, but there are things we can do to help ourselves. Spending time with friends and family reminiscing about funny things that have happened in the past, allowing ourselves to be silly sometimes, watching comedy shows or  listening to funny podcasts in the car on the way to work instead of the news, just now and then, can all lead to more giggles. How about a game of ‘Fake Laugh ‘Till You Real Laugh’ – try it – it really works. Or you could book yourself onto a ‘Laughter Yoga’ session – yes it’s really a thing. 

If you can’t remember the last time you had a real wholesome belly laugh, maybe it’s time to be more toddler and make an effort to laugh more – it might even become a habit and make you a happier, healthier person – and we all want to be surrounded by happy people. I’d love you to share the things that really make you laugh, or your toddler!