“I am so happy. I don’t remember being happy like this for a long time.”
– 12 year old girl. Obedeih Village
Because laughter is vital.
- Children learn through play. It is how they learn to build human relationships, trust, and empathy.
- It is estimated that 175 million children will be exposed to a major disaster by the end of the decade. Children are naturally resilient, but without access to play or laughter, they are unable to fully develop and heal.
Laughter as Medicine
- Studies have shown that initial symptoms of posttraumatic stress in children can decrease over the span of 8 to 20 months if they are able to return to their normal life as it existed before the trauma. Ongoing, or repeated trauma can delay this time of healing.
- When families are victims of violence parent-child interactions are changed. Adult figures may display an increase in worry, over-protectiveness, and communicating a lingering sense of danger after a traumatic event. These reactions can intensify post traumatic stress responses in children.
Fun Facts About Laughter
- When we experience positive emotions through laughter and play, endorphins are released, which reduce pain and generate feelings of wellness, and stress relief.
- Even the anticipation of something humorous, or faking a smile can dissolve negative emotions and produce happier ones.
- Laughter can create a positive shift in self-concept or self-perspective and create behavioral changes through heightened feeling and emotion.
- Laughter is contagious, and being surrounded by an emotionally positive atmosphere generates a greater sense of human connection.
- Laughter itself can stabilize blood pressure, improve circulation, restore homeostasis (balance), and induce relaxation. Studies have found a positive correlation between laughter and improvement in heart rate and respiration.
CWB – USA is thrilled to be part of Chicken Soup for the Soul’s 2019 Hidden Heroes program. Watch Executive Director Naomi Share talk about our work, and resilience through laughter.