Laugh until your belly hurts and then a little bit more!
When was the last time you found something so funny, you laughed loudly?
Sometimes the unexpected obstacles and changes associated with aging prevent us from finding things amusing. We get so wrapped up in the negativity, we lose sight in the lightheartedness of everyday life.
Life can be hard sometimes. There are lots of things that can bring us down. But, when we make laughing and smiling a conscious and intentional choice, our overall health and wellbeing benefit.
Humor decreases stress. Laughter relaxes your muscles and increases the oxygen levels in your blood, counteracting the negative effects of stress.
Humor improves your mood. When you smile, your body releases hormones that “trick” it into feeling happier, as well as keeps your blood vessels healthy.
Humor reduces pain and provides clinical benefits. Consistent humor improves pain tolerance, learning ability, short-term memory, and delayed recall.
What brings you comic relief? How do you find merriment throughout the week?
In a recent interview with Joyce Filius for Embracing Aging’s series, Senior Moments. Reframing the Way We Talk About Aging, Joyce shares she created a humor notebook. She fills it with photos, sayings, cartoons, words, and experiences that evoke joy and laughter. When feeling down, she pages through the notebook. This is a fantastic idea and one I intend to use myself.
I also plan on incorporating the tips for a one-week smiling experiment outlined in an article called Smile More for Health, Happiness, and Longevity from VeryWellMind.com.
There’s a quote from Carolyn Birmingham that goes,
“A smile starts on the lips, a grin spreads to the eyes, a chuckle comes from the belly; but a good laugh burst forth from the soul, overflows, and bubbles all around.”
Who will join me in making a conscious effort to add more smiles and laughter in your daily routine?