laughter

How to stay young at heart

Staying young at heart is easy with these great activities. Charis Le Riche gives us some ideas…

Though you might not be able to turn back the clock, you can always feel – and act – young at heart. Here’s how to lighten up and be more youthful.

Giggle

Nothing makes you feel younger than having a good laugh. Laughter also helps you feel less anxious, less tense, boosts your immune system, protects your heart and can even make you look younger. Be sure to surround yourself with cheerful, happy people and seek out opportunities to have a good giggle together.

Sing out loud

You don’t have to be pitch perfect to belt out a tune, and children definitely don’t let being in tune stand in the way of their performance! Even doctors recommend singing out loud, as a means to release endorphins which make you feel good.

Build a fort

Dismantle the couches and build yourself a fort right in the lounge. There is nothing better to cheer you up on a rainy day than putting together a fort made out of couch pillows and sheets for you and the kids to play in – or maybe for a romantic candlelit evening with your partner.

Play board games

We seem to have forgotten that there are better things to do with our time than sit in front of the computer or TV screen. So switch off all your devices and get a little competitive with board games. Whether it’s 30 Seconds, Pictionary or good old Monopoly, you’ll be amazed what fun a board game can be.

Colour in

Not just for kids, colouring in (and painting!) for adults is all the rage at the moment. Colouring in is a stress-free activity that will help put your mind at ease. Choose from one of the many adult colouring in books and whatever crayons or kokis you need to get your creative juices flowing and make you feel young again.

Why you need a good laugh (right now!)

Nothing beats the feeling of a great laugh. Claire Barnardo reminds us why laughter should be part of every day.

Laughter has been called the best medicine (apart from insulin, of course!). And it’s no surprise why. Bursting into laughter is an immediate stress release. It relaxes the mind and body and instantly lifts your mood. With such great benefits, there are plenty of reasons to keep laughing out loud.

Laughter and your body

It’s not only fun to laugh, it’s also great for your health. One good laugh does all this to your body:

  • Increases your heart rate and oxygen, which gives you more energy.
  • Normalises your blood pressure and improves circulation.
  • Releases lots of feel-good hormones called endorphins.
  • Activates digestive and immune systems.
  • Improves your mental state and lifts depression.
  • Reduces stress levels immediately.

Positive outcomes

Besides being good for your health, laughter also has other benefits:

  • Laughter increases your self-confidence and motivation.
  • It brings people together and creates bonding between groups.
  • Laughter encourages creativity.
  • It increases your natural wellbeing, meaning you’re less likely to get sick.
  • Laughter can help you connect with your children, and bring out a sense of fun that’s easy to forget.
  • It’s free and can be done any time!

Finding light relief

In our busy, stressful lives, laughing is not always a priority. But making time to unwind and see the humour in situations can have a big effect on your attitude. Need a quick fix? Here are some ideas.

  1. Watch a funny movie.
  2. Go to a local comedy show.
  3. Read the jokes section of the newspaper.
  4. Hang out with funny friends.
  5. Do fun or silly activities like putt putt or jumping on a trampoline.