Category: Wellness Tips
You may have heard the expression, “laughter is the best medicine” and this statement could not be more true! Not only is laughter free and accessible, but did you know it has numerous physical and mental health benefits?
Laughter is truly the best form of therapy for it helps relieve stress, release anger, sadness, and tension, increase relaxation, and improve your overall mood. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, which are chemicals released by the brain to boost pleasure and make you feel great. It also reduces cortisol, which has several health implications. Laughter is a particularly helpful tool for those who suffer from depression and anxiety and need a quick, free, and drug-free way to relieve symptoms.
When you laugh, there is an increase in oxygen, which helps stimulate your heart, lungs, and muscles. This effect causes an increase in circulation followed by the relaxation of muscles and a decrease in blood pressure. What you are left with is decreased muscle tension, physical stress, and body pain. A healthy dose of laughter can actually leave your muscles relaxed for a whole 45 minutes! This is certainly more beneficial than spending time in a jacuzzi or sauna.
Didn’t have time to exercise today? That’s okay, because laughing is actually a great abdominal and cardio workout. A study found that you can burn approximately 40 calories in a 10-15 minute bout of laughter. When you laugh, you are contracting your abdominal muscles, helping to strengthen your core. Additionally, laughing increases your heart rate and causes the lungs to draw in oxygen. Have you ever felt out of breath after a good, hearty laugh? Much like running, laughing produces a similar cardio response. While laughing should not replace regular physical activity, it certainly is a powerful enhancement to your exercise efforts.
Immunity is a hot topic right now and laughter can actually help boost your immune system. It does so by decreasing stress hormones and increasing immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. Positive thoughts produced by laughter release neuropeptides that can help fight against free radicals and other stressors of the cells and tissues.
It is no secret that laughter has several health benefits. But what is most important is that laughing helps us live a longer, more fulfilling, and happier life. We could all use a little extra laughter in our lives, especially now. It is time to turn that frown upside down and get your laughter on. Trust me, your body and mind will thank you later.
We spend an average of 5.4 hours per day on our mobile devices, 2 hours and 24 minutes per day on social media, and check our phones up to 63 times daily. If you think this sounds like a lot of screen time, well I hate to break it to you that these statistics don’t even account for the time spent on our TV, computer, tablets, and/or playing video games. What we are dealing with is technology overload!
It is important to establish a healthy relationship with our devices. On one hand, we need them to stay up-to-date with news, connect with friends and family, for entertainment, to learn, to work, and even to read this post. However, on the other hand, too much of it can actually affect our mental and physical health.
Detoxing from technology has several benefits including:
- Stress reduction: We need time for both our minds and bodies to recover from a long day of obligations. Work, school, emails, etc. are stressful enough, so continuing to blend work screen time with entertainment screen time only puts extra stress on our mental state. It is important to detach from our devices after a long day to truly unplug and unwind from the chaos of life.
- Improved posture: We typically sit in a hunched over position when using technology. This can create tension in our neck, spine, hips, and affect our overall posture. Not to mention it puts immense strain on our eyes. Consider making your space ergonomically friendly when working and limit screen time after tasks are completed to give your physical body much needed time to rest and reset.
- Increased time for self-care: By stepping away from your device once business is done, you will free up so much time for other things such as: hobbies, cooking, meditation, reading, and exercise. Dedicating more time for yourself will only bring more happiness into your life.
- Disease prevention & weight control: It is no secret that more screen time = higher likelihood of being above normal weight + having obesity-related diseases. By reducing screen time, you will have more time to move your body and prepare healthier foods. This reduces the risk of obesity and obesity-related diseases, while also aids with weight loss and halting the progression of existing disease.
- Improved mental health: Have you ever looked at social media, compared yourself with what you see on the screen, and then started to feel bad about yourself? This scenario happens every time we go online and negatively affects our mental well-being. Social media can make us feel lonely, depressed, envious, dissatisfied, and puts a damper on our self-esteem. Remember that many people post filtered versions of themselves on public platforms. So, don’t necessarily assume their life and looks are better than yours, simply based on their posts.
To help you detox from technology, make a schedule and set a timer. For example, if you have shows you love to watch, schedule a specific time frame to watch them. If you go on social media, set a timer for 30 minutes and then immediately go off your device. Establishing a healthy relationship with technology will help you welcome more happiness into your life, live more in the present, and be more in tune with your mental and physical well-being.
Self-care is defined as the: “practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.” With all of life’s craziness, we often forget to prioritize our own self. When this happens, we feel trapped, overwhelmed, and consumed with negative energy.
Self-care involves actively clearing out your mental and physical spaces so that you have time to do the things that you enjoy most. These “things” vary among each individual and no “thing” is better than the other.
It is okay to be selfish and take the time to slip away from the world to decompress, stabilize, relax, think, ponder, cry, laugh, write, breathe, move, sing, or dance. It is amazing what you can discover within you once all of the background noise disappears.
Remember that you only get one body, so take the time needed to invest in it and love it. Self-care will always be the best care!
Comment and share something that you do for self-care.