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Take a Refresher Course In Laughter

By Sandy Schroeder

When things become too chaotic for too long, it is easy to forget to laugh or smile. It is even hard to reach out to others and take time for little things like romping around the park with your dog. 

I think the pandemic has tested all of us with constant worry linked to serious challenges, but now it's time to set some new guidelines and remember how we used to laugh, trade jokes, and just relax. 

Hit the Laugh Button 

Whatever type of humor suits you best, activate it now and use it freely. The Mayo Clinic reminds us laughter really may be one of the best medicines as it helps to relieve our stress. Here are some of the immediate benefits that lighten the load mentally and physically. 

Your body gets a boost - Laughter stimulates lungs, heart and muscles, triggers a flow of endorphins from the brain and helps the lungs take in more healthy air. 

Tensions begin to ease - Laughter helps the muscles relax and improves circulation which helps reduce physical symptoms of stress. 

The immune system gets a boost - Negative thoughts can generate chemical reactions creating more stress and reducing immunity. Positive thoughts can trigger neuropeptides that fight stress and lower the risk for more illnesses. 

Laughter undercuts depression - Worry and anxiety lose some of their grip when laughter steps in and brightens everyone's mood. 

Pain loses some of its power - When sadness from loss or the frustration of chronic pain becomes too heavy, a good joke, funny movie or goofy friend can be a healthy distraction. 

Connections with others blossom - Laughter can ease awkward situations, and build confidence as we reach out to friends, family and co-workers. 

So Crank Up the Laughter 

If you remember how laughter worked for you in the past, now is the time to add to the mix.  

Laugh at life's challenges - It may not seem funny right now,  but if you look closely you may see the irony in situations which could make them more tolerable. 

Circulate funny stuff - Hang some funny posters, collect funny books, magazines and movies and check funny websites. Or go to a comedy club. 

Learn more about laughter yoga - It may seem artificial at first but it can become spontaneous. 

Make room for funny people- As you see more people, reach out to the ones who always make you laugh. Put them at the top of the list. 

Remember the rules - Never laugh at someone else's expense, but be willing to laugh at yourself. Keep it totally lighthearted. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Upland, Calif.

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