As we were wrapping up National Body Care Month, I had self-care on my mind. To truly take care of ourselves, we must focus as much on internal spiritual and emotional care as much as external care. I could go on and on about starting the day with a great skincare routine, but that’s really only half of the equation. That’s why I wanted to share some information I found about the importance of laughter for our mental and physical health – and a few tips to incorporate more LOLs in your day for better self care and improved body care.
The biological benefits of laughter
We’ve all heard the old saying, “laughter is the best medicine.” Well, it might be a little more than a cliché! According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter can have significant short- and long-term benefits for our health. The act of laughing increases oxygen intake, stimulating the lungs and heart, while simultaneously boosting endorphin levels in your brain. Laughter also temporarily increases your heart rate, followed by decreasing it. This basically ignites and then cools down your stress response, triggering a relaxation response.
And those are just the immediate benefits of laughing. It has even more positive effects on the body over the long term. A negative mindset has been shown to have a negative impact on the body. Focusing on the negative increases stress hormones like cortisol, which can negatively impact your immune system. Conversely, laughing and maintaining a more positive mindset can actually boost your immune system and potentially help you avoid illness and infection. Laughter has also been correlated with ease of pain and may act as a natural painkiller. Plus, studies have found the actual act of laughing may help improve your mood. Even faking a laugh can yield benefits for your mental and physical health.
Laughter exercises to improve wellness
There’s no denying it – laughter is incredibly beneficial to your health and wellness. But how can you add more of it to your life? Like most things, practice makes perfect. Here are a few of my favorite laughter exercises that help me improve my mood, mindset, and health every day:
- Hold your breath for a few seconds. Let it out and burst out laughing.
- Work up to a good, solid laugh. Start by relaxing your face. Then, smile gently. As you smile, start to chuckle, and let your chuckle progress into a giggle, and then into a full laugh.
- Hug a friend and laugh together while you hold each other.
- Think about something funny that you saw or heard recently. Take a moment and actively laugh about it (not just a quick chuckle, but a real belly laugh).
Jen’s laughter challenge: Win an Urthy scent tower
Now, let’s use what we’ve learned about laughter to improve the vibes in our lives! Join my laughter challenge and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a free Urthy Scents scent tower. Accepting the challenge is easy. Start by using one or more of the exercises above, or find another way to incorporate laughter into your day. Then:
- Follow @UrthyScents on Instagram.
- Take a selfie or record a video of your laughter challenge entry.
- Share your laughter challenge and tag @UrthyScents and #JensLaughterChallenge.
That’s it! I’ll announce the winner of the challenge on social media at the end of the month. Until then, let’s live and laugh out loud every day!