Do you have fun every day? The kind of fun that Cyndi Lauper knew that girls wanted to have, although she chose to ignore the poor guys! The fun that makes you run out on a sunny day and play in the park with or without children? The type of fun that makes you crank up the stereo and go dancing through the house bellowing at the top of your lungs, despite the fact that dogs are howling outside? If you don't do this on occasion, you're really missing out! In fact, you could be self-sabotaging your everyday goals by not incorporating fun into your daily existence. Yes, you read correctly, I did say daily!
I'm sure that you've heard the old adage about it taking three times the number of facial muscles to frown than to laugh, right? If you haven't, it does take 43 muscles to frown and 17 muscles to laugh! Here are a few other facts about fun and laughter: How Laughter Can Save Your Marriage
- Fun resulting in laughter activates the immune system.
- Laughter boosts the number and activity level of killer cells. Those that attack viral infections and some cancer and tumor cells.
- Laughter decreases stress hormones.
- Laughter decreases epinephrine levels and decrease dopamine levels which are associated with high blood pressure.
- Laughter relaxes muscles.
The most startling tidbit is that we're born with a sense of fun. Did you know that the average preschooler laughs or smiles about 400 times per day? By the time he or she grows up, the number decreases to a mere 15 times per day! That's awful! Amazing how we allow ourselves to take something that comes naturally and suppress it due to daily environment, outside influences, or preconceptions. Just because preschoolers grow up into adults, fun shouldn't disappear. Fun can and should, mature as well.
John and Raquel are parents of two very active preschoolers. They both work, him from home and her as an accountant outside of the home. They love their children but one night when they got together with a neighboring family, they realized how serious their lives had become. They did their work, did the grocery shopping, took the kids to daycare, picked them up, did things together as a family, ate together, and had a nighttime ritual. They realized that they did not really have F-U-N together.
When John and Raquel witnessed how much laughter and little discord was present in the neighboring family, they were intrigued. So they decided to get back to some of the fun things they used to do as a couple. They suddenly began bike riding with their children, began making weekly outings to fun, but educational spots, started going dancing again, and began walking the neighborhood in the evenings for the exercise and family time.
The results were pretty dramatic, right from the start. They laughed and smiled more, bickered less and saw that the children talked more. Most importantly, John and Raquel reconnected as a couple, and as a family of four. The biggest surprise they found was mood elevation, and the positive affect their moods had on their careers. They vowed to keep fun in their lives and to keep it growing with the children. Take Your Laughter Seriously!