On January 24 at 1:24 p.m. (local time), Global Belly Laugh Appreciation Day invites you to smile, throw your arms in the air and laugh out loud. The aim is to send laughter bouncing around the world – check out your time zone here.
On the Global Belly Laugh Day website, there’s also plenty of advice to make sure every day is filled with warmth, spontaneity and joyfulness. After all, laughter really is the best medicine, and consciously making an effort to smile and laugh more can have a major impact on our overall wellbeing. It also influences how we parent, and how our family functions as a unit. Are we teaching our kids the benefits of a proper belly laugh every day? Do we make time to get silly with them, to explore their senses of humour and mess around? Having a giggle together forms bonds – think of the instant connection and good feeling that happens when we laugh with a stranger. Joseph Michelli, Ph.D., the author of Humor, Play & Laughter: Stress-Proofing Life with Your Kids, says: “The silliness of today is the fond memory of tomorrow. The gifts of being human, equal, real and vulnerable with your children are greater than anything you can purchase.”
Here are ideas from Global Belly Laugh Day to help make any day a belly laugh day:
Start a laughter success story log
Record the times you use humour and laughter to thrive and flourish
Laugh at your mistakes
Let your child lead you in play
Talk in rhyme
Hold a giggle poetry party
Start your family humour album
Make a Laughter Family Tree
Record each of the family members laughing.
Ask Aunts, Uncles, Cousins about fun
family traditions and stories which make you laugh
Play Laugh Print:
Each of us has a unique laugh.
Sit in the room.
Turn off the lights.
Each person laughs one at a time.
Can you identify the person laughing?
Author of What All Children Want Their Parent to Know: 12 Keys to Raising a Happy Child, Diana Loomans, suggests sticking this lovely oath to all the mirrors in the house to promote family positivity and fun:
*The Big Smiling Oath*
I do unsolemnly swear,
To turn up each side of my mouth,
And to smile as often as possible,
I agree to laugh several times daily.
And to give and receive at least three hugs per day!
I vow to have frequent bouts of silliness,
And more happiness for no reason.
From this day forth,
I promise to laugh long and prosper.
I also like the look of laughter yoga, though haven’t yet tried it… But anything that creates that wonderful feeling of freedom and release, both physical and emotional, and breaks down inhibitions, gets my vote! For more about laughter yoga, including exercises, check out www.laughteryoga.org.uk.
Books worth reading
“The Happiness Project, Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
Everyday Alchemist’s Happiness Handbook by Natalie Fee
The Way of the Happy Woman: Living the Best Year of Your Life by Sara Avant Stover