Have you ever found yourself in the worst of moods? You’ve been harsh on those around you and feel stressed and angry, but can’t necessarily explain why. People might steer clear or joke that you woke up on the wrong side of the bed. But at the lowest moment of your day, something hysterically funny happens and you find yourself in full-out belly laughter mode. You laugh to the point that your giggles become roars, and your belly muscles ache from all of the laughing. The stress lifts, your face muscles loosen, and your anger seems to just melt away.

Laughter is the best antidote to stress, anger, and anxiety. In an argument with a spouse, a good laugh releases the tension and often brings everything back to normal. Just the sight and sound of someone laughing releases endorphins and makes you feel good. Have you ever walked into a room where people are laughing and you haven’t a clue why? The natural instinct is to smile—and even to join in. After all, laughter is contagious.

Think about the children in your life—they laugh without any hesitation. They jump and play on the playground, smile at each other, and are filled with such an immense amount of joy. Their giggles come freely and often.

It’s been said that laughter is the best medicine. Laughter has been proven to lower cortisol—the body’s stress hormone, boost immunity, relieve pain, fight against depression, boost recall abilities, and even burn calories. So the next time you hear someone laughing, join in. Seek out ways to bring laughter and lightheartedness back into your life—watch a funny movie, go to a comedy show, play with a pet, or spend time with a group of kids. And instead of worrying about cleaning up the mess those kids have made, focus instead on the fun they’re having. Treat yourself to some giggles—it’s good for your heart, mind, and soul.

Mind, Body, Spirit, Stress Relief

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