Saturday, June 20, 2009

9 Health Benefits of Laughter

Laughter has often been said to be the best medicine. That statement is more than just a saying that has been around for a long time. There is actually a lot of truth in it. Modern research has found quite a number of ways that laughter benefits our health.

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces stress hormones
  • Boosts immune function
  • Raises the level of T-cells that fight infection
  • Raises levels of antibodies that destroy disease
  • Triggers release of endorphins - natural painkillers
  • Decreases stress hormones
  • Protects the heart
  • Relaxes the whole body
Laughter Opportunities

With laughter having such healthy benefits, it is good to make sure that we laugh more often. Here are some strategies that can help you to increase the amount of laughter in your life.
  • Laugh with friends. Laughter is contagious. Find things to do with friends that will create laughter and good feelings - go to movies, play games, tell jokes.
  • Movies and other entertainment. Watching funny movies can be an easy way to get laughing.
  • Keep a sense of humor about life. Instead of seeing all the negatives, find something to laugh about in every situation. This really reduces stress and increases the opportunities to laugh.
  • Act as if. If you can't laugh for real, pretend until you can. Put on smiles and laughter gives the same results as real or spontaneous smiles and laughter. You still get the same positive results.
Laughter is free, and available at any time. It has tremendous power to heal and renew. It can foster good relationships, and support physical and emotional health. Be sure you get your dose of laughter each day.

Be happy

Friday, June 19, 2009

Foods to Make You Happy

It is interesting how much the foods we eat actually influence how we feel. While it is important to have a positive mental attitude and do those things that help keep us emotionally healthy, it will be difficult to do this if our diet is not adequate.

The foods we eat are the building blocks for our body. If the body is doing its regular repair and maintenance work and the necessary ingredients are not there, the repair and maintenance still goes on. The result though is a weakened structure. Over time this can seriously set one up for ill health.

How we feel, whether we are happy or sad is not only regulated by external circumstances or by how well we manage our self talk. It is also influenced by the food we eat. There are amino acids (proteins), vitamins and minerals that are needed to make sure that neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and epinephrine are present in the correct proportions.
These neurotransmitters, amongst other things, are able to increase levels of alertness and energy.

Some examples of nutrients and foods that help to increase happiness are:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Beet root,
  • Strawberries
  • Oranges
Vitamin B6
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Meats
  • Fish
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
Vitamin B12
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Brazil nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Eggs
  • Tuna
  • Meats
  • Legumes
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Fish
  • Quinoa
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Potatoes
Foods that can help to keep depression and anxiety at bay, and increase memory and concentration are certainly useful in building a healthier and happier life.

If the right nutrients are not available your body will find it very hard to keep you feeling happy, alert and energetic.

Stay healthy

Sunday, June 14, 2009

10 Stress Reducing Techniques

Stress comes from many different sources. If stress is allowed to accumulate and get out of control it not only decreases our quality of life but creates illness in the body. If allowed to continue it has been known to shorten the life span.

Here are 10 different ways that might help to decrease stress.
  1. Play some relaxing music.
  2. Get plenty of sleep.
  3. Eat a good diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals. If necessary take a vitamin supplement.
  4. Get some sunshine regularly.
  5. Take a walk outdoors. Take time to enjoy the flowers, sunset, scenery etc.
  6. Having soft squeezable items handy can help to release tension.
  7. Take up a hobby. Find something that you enjoy doing and make time for it.
  8. Running. Any form of exercise that is enjoyed will help to reduce stress.
  9. Have a pet. Many people keep pets to help reduce stress.
  10. Have an aquarium. Keeping an aquarium has been known to help to lower blood pressure and to relieve stress.

What ever method of stress reduction that you choose, it must be readily available. Choose something that will fit in with your way of life.

As a bonus tip I am told that playing computer games works to reduce stress but if they are played as a form of procrastination they will eventually increase the stress. So choose your stress reduction method wisely.

Enjoy life and have fun