One of the hallmarks of childhood is how much darn fun we have. Unfortunately, many of us lose this capacity as we grow into adulthood. Although some things are childish and should not follow us into later life, some things kids do are pretty darn smart. Laughing a lot is one of them.
Evidence continues to pile up showing the multifaceted way in which laughter improves our health. Here is a short list:
– increases oxygen intake (which stimulates the brain and other internal organs)
– stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (the “feel good” and anti-stress nerve centre)
– boosts immune system function
– increases your pain threshold
– boosts moods
You don’t need to laugh all day. Try taking time 4 or 5 times a day to see, read or think of something funny. This builds up and probably gives you 15 to 20 minutes of solid laughter each day.
If stress has built up beyond a certain point, you may find it hard to relax and have fun. Fortunately, this can be worked at (like anything else). Make time in your day when you do things you enjoy (or used to enjoy). Regardless of whether or not you get a huge kick out of these, just practice doing something other than work and worry.
Stay away from the 24-hour News Cycle. It only reports on the most horrid atrocities and with the most stressful angle. News websites and channels are taping into your stress centers and getting you hooked on bad vibes. Take one or two months off the news. Seriously, try it!
Read more and read light hearted books. Sometimes reading classic children’s literature is the best antidote to being too “grown up.” There is much wisdom in classic books.
Work at thinking positively, hanging out with people more and maybe engage in activities that make you laugh (charades, goofy party games, etc).
It’s never too late to rediscover the healthier things in life. Relationships, fun, laughter and good vibes. Our world is made up of both good and bad events. Whichever you focus on the most will predominate your life.
Best of luck!