Health and Wellness: Want to boost your health? Add some laughter to your life – Daily Herald

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Laughter may not be the best medicine for, say, your seasonal allergies, but it can sure lighten your mood! From short-term benefits to long-term effects, laughter can boost your mental and physical health. So find ways to add a little more laughter to your life. When times are tough, the habit of humor and good cheer can be lifesavers.
“A good laugh has great short-term effects,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body.” 
“When you laugh, you stimulate your heart, lungs and muscles, and your brain releases more endorphins, the happiness hormone,” said Mother Bernadette, activities director at Cedar Crest Nursing and Rehabilitation, a skilled nursing facility in Sunnyvale, California. “With all this stimulation, your body activates the stress response and then cools it right back down, leaving you with a relaxed feeling.”
Finally, according to Mayo Clinic, “laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.”
Does laughing change your life in the long run? You bet! Here are some of the long-term effects of laughter on mental health, according to Dan Brennan, M.D.:
Now that you know the health benefits of laughter, here are a few ways to add some chuckles, giggles and snorts into your life:
Laughter really is excellent medicine! Be positive and have a giggle with your loved ones to experience the short-term and long-term benefits of a life full of laughter. And share your laughter with those around you to spread the joy.
Sarah Hilton, RN, has 20 years of healthcare experience and serves as Stage Marketing’s director of advisory services.
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