South San Francisco, CA August 3, 2020
The past four months have stressed us to points we may not have thought possible when 2020 kicked off a thousand years ago.
The stress is real and can do much harm to our immune system, and quality of life.
To that end, we thought we’d share a few funnies as we know laughter does boost our immune system, and we all can use that!
The Mayo Clinic explains three short term benefits of laughter;
- Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
- Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
- Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
And there are long term benefits of laughter;
- Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. By contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
- Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers.
- Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.
- Improve your mood. Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier.
Yet so many of us are feeling overwhelmed, and for good reasons. Not knowing what the future holds makes planning for it difficult. The loss of employment brings real concerns on how we will continue to pay our rent/ mortgages, provide food and medical care for ourselves and our families, education stymied and we are unsure how best to ensure our children receive a quality education so they may prosper in their future, the effects of not seeing extended family and friends, participate in religious ceremonies, recreational activities, and so forth. It is overwhelming. Add to it the civil unrest and political divide, what we are experiencing, globally, is a once in a lifetime event.
So, while the circumstances are real, and the stress is right there – how we react to it will determine much of our future. How are we modeling our reaction for our children? Are we creating security for them by reassuring them everything will be ok in time? Or do we use them as a soundboard and express our frustrations? Do we take our mini breakdowns in the privacy of our room, away from the younger ones? We need to fully realize, that yes, in time, things will work out OK and bring that sense of security to our children.
To all our amazing parents and guardians who are now their child’s ‘teacher’ during this time of distance learning, you’ve got this! And when you feel you don’t – reach out and ask for help!
We also do well to boost our immunity through laughter, and through self-care. Getting out in the sun daily not only can boost your mood and elevate your vitamin D levels naturally, but taking good deep breathes of fresh air through your nose, and exhaling through your mouth a few times will help reduce tension. Stretching, walking, dancing, and other physical activities are also great ways to reduce stress. Nixing the junk food and going for fresh veggies and fruits will also boost your immunity, as will mediation and focusing on your spiritual beliefs. Quarantine weight gain is real for over 50% of us that admit to it, and some background on the effects this has on us, and what we might do about it, can be found on MedicineNet CLICK HERE
As our County shuts down again this week, we realize we are part of this global family experiencing this once in a lifetime event together, Australia today has announced another shutdown including curfews.
If you have suggestions on what you do to keep sanity and good health, please share them in the comments below. We are all in this together, apart, and there is wisdom in the multitude of many. What works for you?