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Laughter therapy: Can a laugh a day keep the stress at bay?

Mar 16 2016
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Laughter is good for your health. Holidays, family reunions and weekends all offer a good time for friends and families to get together to eat, celebrate and share some laughter. benefits of laughter

Researchers have determined that laughter is good for you in a number of ways. A good laugh affects different parts of your brain, releasing chemicals that help relieve pain and protect your body from stress. Laughter also helps dilate your blood vessels and can strengthen your immune system.

Laughter does more than make you smile

Whether you call it fun, joy or goofing off, Mental Health America says that enjoying yourself can also boost your effectiveness, broaden your perspective, increase creativity and restock your energy supply. Leisure activities also help combat stress by offering camaraderie, chances to build confidence and distractions from difficulties.

Laughter: always free and readily available

Laughter is good for you any day. If you’re looking to create more fun in your life consider these options from Mental Health America:

Free up some time. Can you afford to scratch something off your calendar? Is there anyone you can ask to help lighten your load? Set aside a time for fun and protect it like it is a doctor’s appointment.

Do something you loved to do as a kid.

Do something you’ve always wanted to do. If you’re not sure how, take a class, research it online or look for a local group dedicated to the activity.

Pursue a creative interest. Writing, singing or making music all have therapeutic effects. Or just turn on a song you love: Brain images show that music can trigger feel-good hormones.

Spend time with someone you love. Get an extra boost from your fun time by sharing it. Good times build relationships, and good relationships are key to our happiness.

And remember, if you find yourself or a loved one in a place where you can’t find joy and laughter, you can get help.  These articles may also be helpful:

Depression: A disease that affects more than 350 million people

Five types of depression in adolescents, teens and college-aged individuals

Postpartum depression more than just the baby blues

Understanding the depths of depression and how to help