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Eating healthy? Check! Exercise? Check! So why aren’t we sleeping well? Did you know that stress is the leading cause of six illnesses including heart disease and also affects how we sleep? Since diet and exercise alone is not enough to combat the stress that we deal with on a daily basis, what else is there?
Laughter. Not pills. Not alcohol. Simply laughing can help you get a better night’s rest. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter is one of the best ways to relieve stress and a great reason to include people that have a good sense of humor in your circle of friends. It doesn’t matter how stressed I am some days. As soon as my husband says something stupidly funny, I crack up and feel better. Well let me rephrase that. First I look at him like what did you say THEN I crack up. Thank goodness he does it often too 😉
One study shows that kids on average laugh 400 times per day. Want to know what the number of times an adult laughs per day based on information in the same study? 15 times per day. We laugh ONLY 15 times a day on average. Explains why so many of us are stressed.
Laughter has both short term and long term health benefits. Short term, a good laugh not only puts you in a better mood, it increases your intake of oxygen, lowers your blood pressure, stimulates your heart and signals your body to release endorphins in your brain. Know what else releases those feel good chemicals in your brain? Exercise.
Long term like exercise, laughter boosts your immune system, relieves pain and improves your mood. You don’t have to look very far either for something to make you laugh. Something as simple as keeping a cartoon, picture, or anything else that makes you laugh nearby will do the trick if you don’t have time to watch a funny movie.
Enough reasons to make laughter a priority in your day? No? Then how about this one. Laughing gives your abs a good workout so you get double the benefit when you laugh – you’ll feel better and work on your core at the same time.
This week instead of complaining, find humor in things that happen throughout the day. And remember – laugh and the world laughs with you (poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox). So go ahead. Get out there and laugh. While you’re at it, make your family and friends laugh with you. Have a great week!
To your health,