The best 2008 tip for reducing stress...

Go on, crack a smile, your face won't break...I promise.

I'm not going to rant and rave today, are you in SHOCK! Yes, instead, I'm going to laugh, yes, laugh. If you feel as if you need to send the men with white coats to my house, go ahead, bet you can't find me!

Laughter is now thought to be the best stress reliever. Well, my granny told us that years, and years ago. Now scientists are jumping on my granny's bandwagon.

Research is now showing that laughter is a positive health benefit. Laughter is thought to strengthen the immune system, reduce food cravings, and increase one's threshold for pain.

Stress management benefits of laughter are as follows;

  1. Reduces levels of stress hormones -- increases levels of health-enhancing hormones.
  2. Physical release.
  3. Internal workout -- exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs, works out the shoulders.
  4. Distraction -- takes the focus away from anger, guilt and other negative emotions.
  5. Perspective -- changes how we view something as a threat or a challenge. Humor gives us more of a lighthearted perspective.
  6. Social Benefits -- laughter connects us with others and is contagious.
I needed to laugh today, I have an adult child living with me and if I don't laugh get the picture.

Usually, I save my poetry for my other blog but, I found this poem many years ago and it's by far my favorite. It's simplistic and maybe not the greatest poem in the world but, it sure brings home the point I'm making about laughter:

"Then Laugh"

Build for yourself a strong box,
Fashion each part with care;
When it’s strong as your hand can make it,
Put all your troubles there;

Hide there all thought of your failures,
And each bitter cup that you quaff;
Lock all your heartaches within it,
Then sit on the lid and laugh.

Tell no one else its contents,
Never its secrets share;
When you’ve dropped in your care and worry
Keep them forever there;

Hide them from sight so completely
That the world will never dream half;
Fasten the strong box securely—
Then sit on the lid and laugh.

© Bertha Adams Backus.

So, go ahead laugh until you can't breathe, the tears roll down your face and your sides ache -- you'll feel wonderful afterwards.

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