Happy Mental Health Month, readers!
In case you’re not familiar, Mental Health America first celebrated Mental Health Month in May 1949 to “raise awareness of mental health conditions and mental wellness for all.” Since then, a strong focus on mental health advocacy, awareness, and education in May is tradition.
Here at Your Body, Your Mind, we’re going to do things a little differently.
For each week during May 2012, you’ll receive a “challenge” of sorts – something to try during the week to improve your physical and mental health.
This week’s challenge? Laughter!
If you’re not sure about the health benefits of laughter, check out these resources:
- Laughter Is The Best Medicine: The Health Benefits Of Humor And Laughter: Read up on how laughter helps with relaxation, boosts the immune system, triggers endorphins, and helps with heart health.
- 8 Health Benefits Of Laughter: Care2 takes it a little further, reminding us that laughter helps with creativity and memory!
- The Stress Management And Health Benefits Of Laughter: About.com’s Stress Management Guide Elizabeth Scott, M.S. points out the physical, emotional, and social benefits of laughter – including acting as a much-needed distraction!
- The Benefits Of Laughter: Psychology Today tells us laughter helps with mating and that the female’s laughter is critical to the relationship!
- Give Your Body A Boost – With Laughter: WebMD breaks down the physiological changes we experience when we laugh and how those changes help with blood flow, immunity, and sleep.
Often, laughter is a spontaneous, involuntary activity. So, how are you supposed to incorporate it in your daily life?
Well, you could try:
- Watching a funny movie or reading a funny book.
- Learning a new joke or two to spring on your friends.
- Think about something funny that happened in the past (I do this so much my closest friends are used to me randomly laughing).
- Make funny faces at your dog and crack up at the confused look she returns.
- Give Laughter Yoga a try!
Before you head off thinking of ways to tickle your funny bone, be sure to check out fellow Psych Central blogger Chato B. Stewart’s Mental Health Hero event. Stewart writes the site’s Mental Health Humor blog (so he knows a few things about laughter!) and for each day this month, he’s featuring one Mental Health Hero. Catch them all over at mentalhealthhero.com.