Last week I sent a txt to my teenage daughter and (even though she was probably in maths at the time) she replied immediately.
“Mum did you really just send me a txt with OMG in it”
“You’re soooo funny”
“Why?” (confused emoji)
“My friends are all laughing so hard (lol emoji)”
“Why? What’s so funny!”
Clearly I’m a few steps behind in the latest txt speak and I’m not the only one in our family on the receiving end of teenage mockery. My husband’s usual quips and one-liners have recently become ‘Dad jokes’. Admittedly (and I’m sure he agrees) they’re not always what you’d call ‘award-winning material’, but we’ve still laughed. Now it seems, our kids have moved on from laughing with us, to at us.
However there’s one game we’ve played since they were small that still gets us all laughing together, and at no one’s expense. Afterwards we feel energised, uplifted and we head out into the world with huge smiles on our faces.
If you haven’t played it before, get the clan or your workmates together and give it a go – you won’t regret it.
The Laughing Game
Players required: 2 or more (must be fully committed)
Time required: 1 minute
How to play:
- Players stand facing each other, or in a circle facing inwards
- Appoint a timekeeper and set the timer to go off in one minute
- The timekeepers starts the clock and says ‘Go!’
- All players must immediately begin fake laughing as hard as they possibly can and they must not stop for the entire minute. This requires commitment, and a willingness to look rather foolish. There will be an initial few seconds of discomfort but players must push through this initial stage, forcing out the fake laughter. Do whatever’s required – shake your belly and pretend to be Santa, slap your hands on your knees or your neighbour’s back, drop and roll around on the floor, go as hard as you possibly can for the full minute duration until the timer calls ‘Stop’.
- After the first awkward seconds you will notice a shift, where the fake laughing starts to become real. Everyone (yourself included) will look so ridiculous you simply won’t be able to help it. But, don’t allow this genuine laughter to slow you down, keep forcing the belly laughter until the full minute is up.
When the game is over you’ll feel a total energy shift in the room and everyone around you will be grinning from ear to ear, looking alive and invigorated. (In our house, the only one left looking a little startled is the dog!)
Life can get pretty serious sometimes and the health and wellbeing benefits of laughter are undisputed – reduction in stress, lowering of blood pressure, boost to immune function and an increased sense of energy.
I hope you give The Laughing Game a go, and that it gets your kids (and maybe even your workmates) laughing with you rather than at you.
Until next time,
Have you given The Laughing Game a try? If so, I’d love to hear how it went. Enter your comment below (you don’t need to enter your name and email address details – just ignore those fields if you prefer.) Or, you can email me your feedback here.
Lisa Nimmo is an author, speaker and mum of two teenagers, based in Wellington New Zealand. If you’d like to know more visit lisanimmo.com
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