Go ahead and laugh a little, live a lot

We all have too much stress in our lives, what with jobs, kids, family, the economy and world issues demanding our attention 24 hours a day. Just turn on CNN or FoxNews.

How can we combat the daily struggles and worries in our lives? Why not laugh? Laughter might not solve the world problems or the sibling squabbles, but the health benefits of a good, deep belly laugh can’t be ignored. So don’t. Laughing should be a part of your routine.

Laughter has been called the “best medicine”, prescribed to combat stress, which causes all sorts of health problems – migraines, ulcers, heart disease, asthma, depression and even weight gain. Stress, according to Dr. Lee Berk of Loma Linda University, claims the mind, hormones and immune system are all part of a balancing act that can be affected by our stress levels.

Dr. Berk said laughter improves your health because it triggers your hormones to stop releasing cortisol, a stress hormone, and instead triggers feel-good hormones such as dopamine and endorphins, which lower your anxiety level. Cortisol has been proven to contribute to weight gain and diabetes.

Laughter also can lower blood pressure and improve cardiac health by activating T cells, not to mention give you a healthy ab workout.

 So go ahead and have yourself a good laugh. You’ll feel better.