Posted on:Thursday 18th February 2021

Did you know there are a growing number of therapists advocating using humour and laughter to help improve a child's wellbeing and trigger all those happy hormones? They often give home-play instead of homework, asking children to do things every day that give them their daily dose of humour, this can include surrounding themselves with funny people, watching a comedy show that makes them laugh, or writing down three funny things that happened that day. 

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Laughter is an antidote to stress

The emotional benefits of laughter are extensive, have you noticed its actually impossible to laugh and be angry at the same time? That is because laughter is the safety valve that shuts off the flow of stress hormones.  By activating the neural pathways of emotion laughter can improve your mood and make your physical and emotional response to stress less intense. For example, laughing can help control brain levels of the neurotransmitter’s involved in our happy hormones DOSE. Laughter increases your Dopamine and Serotonin activity making you feel happy and calm as well as releasing Endorphins which come to your rescue when you’re feeling uncomfortable or experiencing low mood.

Laughter expels the irritations of daily life and lifts our overall mood. Regularly laughing helps maintain a brighter outlook on life, decreases anxiety-reducing depressive thoughts. In a nutshell, Laughter produces positive emotions, builds resilience and increase creative thinking.

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A family who laugh together...

Laughter makes and strengthens human connections and allows us to have a more optimistic view of the world. Laughing together as a family builds and strengthens bonds. For children, it is important to see the adults in their lives laugh as this will encourage them to mirror this behaviour. 

Children find laughter addictive, they enjoy the way it makes them feel and they love to see the response they get from those around them. A good sense of humour can make children smarter, healthier, and more able to cope with challenges. Being funny and being able to make themselves and others laugh builds resilience and character.  Often children are drawn to those who make them laugh and feel good within their friendship groups. 

Laughter is contagious like yawning or blinking, watching others laugh encourages the same reciprocal response. This is why shows and movies use laugh tracks, hearing the laughter makes the audience subconsciously think what they are watching is funny and encourages them to laugh along. 

Grant Orchard, creator of CBeebies’ Hey Duggee has won multiple awards says to avoid puns as children just don't get them, instead “physical comedy and pain are pretty much dead certs,”. Being silly and losing your inhibitions makes laughing more genuine and magnifies the effect of the laughter.  Children develop an understanding of jokes around the age of 5-6. Children love taboo topics like poo and farts and anything that creates surprise as it allows them to push boundaries. 

Intentionally smiling at children throughout the day sends a little spark of magic between the two sets of eyes and can instantly change mood and mindset. If you find yourself experiencing tantrums and tears on a regular basis, ask how much laughter is being orchestrated for the child. Plan laughter into each day, reading funny books, doing funny dances, watching funny programmes are all simple ways of inserting humour into a child's day. 

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Can laughter really be a form of exercise?

Yes, laughter is not only physical exercise but also mental exercise.  Laughing 100 times is equal to spending 15 minutes on an exercise bike or 10 minutes on a rowing machine. According to Dr. Gulshan Sethi laughing is like sit-ups for your internal organs strengthen them with each laugh. Laughter relaxes your muscles, in fact, one bought of laughter can relax your muscles for 45 minutes meaning the effects continue long after you stop laughing. 

Gelotologists are professionals who study humour and laughter and its effects on the human body, their research shows laughter engages pretty much every part of the brain. Laughter is like a total workout for the brain and the more regularly you can laugh the more healthy you keep your brain.

Intentionally smiling at children regularly throughout the day encourages a spark of happiness to bounce between both sets of eyes, that moment of happiness can change mood and mindset. 

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Have you heard the saying laughter is the best medicine? Here’s why...

Laughter is a superpower as it positively enhances your physical and mental well-being at the same time. It’s infectious, both laughing or watching people laugh actually activates multiple regions of the brain in particular those which help to control positive emotions.


  • Increases the production of white blood cells which fight tumours and virus'
  • Promotes the production of immune cells
  • Produces more antibodies

How many counsellors does it take to change a light bulb? Just one: as long as the light bulb “wants” to change.

We are delighted to have worked with the fabulous team at The Pamper Lounge to bring you a free Laughter Yoga session for children written for DOSE Magazine.