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Q: Why did Dracula become a vegetarian?
A: Because he heard steak was bad for his heart.
Every time my granddaughter told this joke, she would howl with laughter!
How do we bring more laughter into our lives? During one of my recent Ready to Lead sessions, I asked a group of early childhood administrators, “When was the last time something struck you as funny, and you laughed out loud?” It was an interesting conversation. Several participants shared that they found it difficult to recall the last time they laughed out loud. This was not surprising; staffing issues and managing early childhood programs create a lot of stress and anxiety. While laughter will not solve the most significant issues, bringing more laughter into your life may help relieve some stress and improve your mental and physical health.
LAUGHTER IS GOOD FOR YOU!
There are several physical and mental benefits to laughter. It can enhance your intake of oxygen-rich air and increase the endorphins (neurotransmitters that make you feel good) released by your brain. That relaxed feeling after a good belly laugh is actually due to laughter activating and relieving your stress response and decreasing your heart rate and blood pressure. When you laugh, it eases tension, increases circulation, and relaxes your muscles. Over time, a life rich with laughter can strengthen your immune system, improve your mental health, ease stress, and build resilience.
Consider laughter a key ingredient in helping to increase your mental and physical well-being. In addition, laughter at work can improve the work climate and increase collegiality. It is reported that the average four-year-old laughs 400 times a day; the average 40-year-old averages only four! This means we must be mindful about finding moments of humor in our daily lives.
FIVE TIPS TO ADD MORE LAUGHTER INTO YOUR LIFE
Find something to smile about every day. It is your daily vitamin to manage stress and increase your well-being.
Charles Dickens said, “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”
Some questions to consider:
*to get to the other slide.
Barb Volpe, M.Ed., is the Director of Professional Learning at the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership. She oversees the development and implementation of leadership academies for early childhood center- and home- based administrators. Barb is a state and national trainer in areas of early childhood program leadership and administration. Building on past experience as a statewide assessor for the Illinois QRIS system, she supports statewide Quality Specialists and Infant Toddler Specialists in their technical assistance work through training on quality assessment tools and coaching practices.