Laughter Can Be The Best Medicine

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Research scientists have spent considerable time investigating the effects of laughter. They have found that laughter can help patients recover from illnesses because it tends to lower blood pressure, reduces stress hormone levels, and recharges the body's immune system. Laughter is also known to release the body's natural painkilling substances to provide an overall feeling of well-being. This is a result of stimulating blood flow and aiding the heart.

It has been said that laughter has about the same benefits as aerobic exercise, but it comes without the pain sometimes experienced with physical activity. Laughter also helps to control insulin levels and blood sugar levels, and while scientists don't recommend that patients quit their diets or exercise regimens, they do say that laughing definitely helps. Doctors have discovered that laughter also has an effect on viruses, bacteria, cancer and heart disease. They determined that their patients boosted their immune systems just by watching funny videos and movies.

Laughter is one of the first things we learn as babies. Scientists note that babies who smile the quickest were smiled at more in general. If parents are happy and smiling, it is a given that the baby is likely to smile quickly as well. Much research on children has been performed, and scientists discovered that laughter helped with children's ability to endure pain and was also effective in the healing process. This is a valuable discovery for young cancer patients. Laughing relaxed patients who had to have painful procedures or who suffered from the anxiety of pain expectation.

Researchers have found that there are many positive effects from laughter, but no known negative effects. Laughter really is the best medicine. Just thinking about something funny makes the hormones flow and the body has a positive and healthy response.


Easy Free Ways to Reduce Your Stress

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Easy Free Ways to Reduce Your Stress

With the pace of modern life, stress and tension is becoming an increasing problem. All too often, we look for some drug or medication to reduce our stress levels, or turn to other crutches such as cigarettes or alcohol to help us deal with a stressful situation. Before considering any of these, there are a number of very simple techniques that can be used to reduce your levels of stress and tension.

The following suggestions are easy and free ways you can use to start managing the stress in your life.

1. Look at your lifestyle and see what can be changed in your work situation, your family life, or your work schedule. Try to get a balanced between your work commitments and your leisure time.

2. Try relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or massage.

3. Take some exercise. Physical activity has been shown to be very effective in reducing stress levels.

4. Improve your Time Management and planning skills. Setting yourself unrealistic targets that can never be achieved is a sure way of increasing your stress levels. Use simple techniques such as checklists to break up major tasks or projects into smaller steps. As you work through the tasks, you will gain greater satisfaction from the progress you are making and what you may have first thought of as a stressful, daunting task becomes much more manageable.

5. Watch what you eat. Too much alcohol, caffeine, sugar, fats and tobacco can all affect your body's ability to deal with stress. A well balanced diet containing a range of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and high protein, low fat foods will help you maintain a healthy body. Go to your local library to find books on healthy eating if you don't know where to start.

6. Get enough sleep. It’s important that your body has enough rest to recharge your batteries and give you the energy to deal with any stressful situations.

7. Talk things over with others. The old saying can be true - a problem shared is a problem halved. Talk to your partner, friends or relatives about what is causing your stress.

8. Get involved. Participating in voluntary work or in projects within your community can be a great way to combat stress.

9. Take a break. Give yourself time to relax by reading a book, watch a movie, play a game, listen to music or take a relaxing holiday break.

10.Get active. Any form of physical activity such as gardening, home improvements etc. is a great way to reduce stress.