According to HelpGuide, “Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict.”
According to the article, The Stress Management and Health Benefits of Laughter, “…laughter can help relieve pain, bring greater happiness, and even increase immunity.”
I loved reading the Reader’s Digest section called Laughter is the Best Medicine. They always put me in the best mood. I enjoyed them so much that I would collect old Reader’s Digests that belonged to my friend and encourage my students to read them. I would start them off reading Laughter is the Best Medicine and they would usually check out the other stories.
Laughter can turn a crisis into something manageable. This applies to the classroom and also applies to real life.
Many times I have used laughter to diffuse a sensitive situation. But I need to make sure the students and/or the adults know that I am not laughing at them. Using a little humor can relieve the tension and allow people to open up. When stressed, I believe we turn our thoughts inward instead of opening up to new ideas and strategies.
If you have ever watched The Golden Girls, Betty White usually ends up telling a humorous story at a tense time in the story. This usually brings some humorous relief to a dramatic moment. I like to use stories about myself to ease conflict between two of my students or two of my colleagues. Listening to my story telling allows both parties some time to calm down and it also can bring some laughter to the situation.
Before a test, I like to start the class with some silly jokes such as knock knock jokes. If the students don’t laugh at the joke, I can usually get them to laugh at me laughing at the joke. I buy a lot of those scholastic joke books to share with my students. It doesn’t matter what grade the students are in, usually all of them enjoy a silly joke.
Do you use laughter in the classroom? If so, please share.
Image: 'One Dollar, Sir!'