Lighten Up!

You may feel overwhelmed by everything going on in the world, and find even the smaller circle of life that surrounds you closing in. The pressure you feel can become suffocating, twenty-four hour televised and socialized until you think you are going to break. The stress it brings can become so overwhelming that you think there is nothing you can do about it. There is, and it’s a completely natural way to de-stress without a prescription or bar tab. Have a laugh.

Laughter is an innate ability we are born with to combat the stress build up. It can be an antidote to pain and even disease. A good laugh can lighten your burdens, inspire you and keep you grounded. It is an essential tool in both physical and emotional health.

It’s also important to maintaining social relationships. Have you ever asked someone what makes their partnership work so well? There is usually a “he/she makes me laugh” in the answer. Laughter is one of the ways we release endorphins, the body’s natural chemical that makes us feel good. But there are other ways that laughter provides health benefits:

  • It naturally lowers your blood pressure, with immediate benefits.
  • Your vascular blood flow and oxygenation of the blood increases. This can offset the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the blood that occurs with anxiety and stress.
  • Your stress hormones will decrease and immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies increase.
  • When you laugh, the diaphragm is strengthened and every muscle used in the process from your head down to your toes are relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Memory, learning, alertness and creativity prowess are increased because you have eliminated the stress that blocks these functions.
  • Your tolerance of pain increases. The endorphins distract the pain signals.
  • Regular laughter burns calories. It really is great exercise.

Integrated medicine is all about the improvement of mind body and spirit. You can’t do that without looking on the brighter side of life and laughing off the small stuff. Baby’s begin smiling during the first weeks of life and laugh out loud with abandon. If you feel the stress building up, it’s time to be born again.

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Brandon Tarpon Springs