Tips to a Happier You in 2012~Laughter really is the best medicine

 
With winter approaching, many people are affected by seasonal affective disorder and fight the wintertime blues. Since my busy life has made it difficult for me to post lately, I thought I’d repost my series of practical tips to get those happy hormones in your brain working to create a happier you this winter. Enjoy!
As a pharmacist, a patient, and a child of God who’s had to be “parented” quite a lot over the last eight years, I have learned many practical solutions to insomnia, depression, anxiety, and addiction. I’ve also learned that these four issues often go hand in hand, and are directly related to the chemicals in our brain. The pharmacist in me sought a medical solution–pills. And as most of you know, pills just made things worse.
Throughout this year, I’m going to share small, easy changes you can make in your life that will make for a happier you. All of these tidbits of information are based in both scientific fact and scripture. Medicine and faith really can walk hand in hand when God is your first and foremost physician. I’ll try to keep it simple as far as the “sciency” stuff goes, but a little knowledge about the brain really helps understand why these solutions work.
Most of you have probably heard about the hormone we have called serotonin, right? It’s that almighty chemical the media flooded us with information about when Prozac was first introduced. There is another hormone in your brain called cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone that really kicks in we we are under high stress, afraid, in a hurry, etc. It’s the one that helps us with our “fight or flight” mechanism. Remember that term from high school biology? Well, these two hormones do not coexist well. When Cortisol is high, like when you are worried or stressed, Serotonin is low. And vice versa. 
I’m here to tell you that you don’t need Prozac or one of it’s relatives to help. There are numerous small changes you can make in your lifestyle that have been clinically proven to increase the serotonin levels in your brain. 
Today I want to tell you about laughter aerobics. “What?” Yes, laughter aerobics. This has got to be one of the silliest things I’d ever heard of, but it really exists. Laughter aerobics is a class where people basically sit in a circle and one person is appointed to begin laughing. Fake, real, goofy…it doesn’t matter. They just have to laugh. In turn, everyone else starts laughing too. The great thing is, you don’t have to go to an aerobics class! In the evening, after your work day is complete, do some laughter aerobics with your family. Your kids will think you’re nuts, but that’s all part of the fun! I promise you will end your day with a happy note, your cortisol levels will decrease, your serotonin levels will increase, and as a bonus, you will sleep better.
To top it off, science is not the only confirmation that laughter will make you happier. Read the prescription verse for today. From this verse comes the quote we’ve all heard, “laughter is the best medicine.” 
So tonight, begin your new year by making this small change. Spend just five minutes with your family playing laugh aerobics. I promise you won’t regret it and what do you have to lose?
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Comments

  1. I loved reading this! I wrote an article for a magazine back many years ago about this very thing. Thanks for sharing it!

    • CelesteVaughan says:

      Thanks Vonda. My kids and husband keep me laughing all the time. If you didn’t see it on my FB page, go look at the videos I posted of mine and Miranda’s trip to Nashville. She serenaded me the whole way there!

  2. Ren Moody says:

    Laughter aerobics, what a fantastic idea!

  3. Celeste, this is a great post–just shared it on Twitter. I love your Rx from God 🙂

    • CelesteVaughan says:

      Thanks Elaine, and thanks for tweeting! I just got your email about the guest post and I’m looking forward to it!

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