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The best medicine

I love these photos my family had taken last November.  For some reason we could not stop laughing.  I'm sure the photographer was a little peeved that we didn't just hold still and smile, but we love the way they turned out. 
When was the last time you experienced the rushing thrill of a deep belly laugh?  When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?  It's no secret that in any situation, laughter really is the best medicine.   After this past week, I was in desperate need of heavy duty, prescription strength laughter.  Lucky for me, last night, the doctor was in!
After work, I was faced with the extremely tough decision of studying for an exam or getting my first wax of the season.  I chose to get waxed.  Unfortunately, I was turned away because my hair was too short - which worries me.  How long is supposed to be?!  Anyway, after studying, I went to his house.  Have any of you ever had an extremely handsome new man, who is twice your size wrestle you to the ground so he could inspect your hairy armpits?!  It's so embarrassing, but truly hilarious.  I gave him a good fight, but ultimately, his muscley arms were just too strong.  Through the struggling, and screams to his roommate for assistance, I laughed and laughed until the tears came.  He caught one glimpse of my pits and pretended to throw up.  We had a grand ol' time and, with a smile, he commented that he'd never heard me laugh so hard. 
I can think of only 4 times in my life where I have laughed harder, it's a good feeling!
Science has proven that laughter really is the best medicine and it's  benefits span all aspects of our well being.

Physical Benefits
Boosts immune system
Reduces stress
Releases endorphins which boost the mood
Decreases pain
Relaxes muscles
Decreases risk for heart disease

Mental Benefits
Increases resilience
Eases anxiety and fear
Relieves stress
Increases energy
Enhances concentration and productivity

Social Benefits
Strengthens relationships
Attracts others to us
Increases spontaneity
Helps diffuse negative energy from criticism or judgment

I make it a point to try to get at least one good laugh in everyday.  Sometimes that's not always possible, but I have made a conscious effort to surround myself with people who will help to foster a happy environment.  There are other things I do to help bring about laughter:

Smile.  Smiling is the beginning of laughter and like laughter, it’s contagious.

When you hear laughter, move towards it.  Sometimes humor and laughter are private, a shared joke among a small group, but usually not. More often, people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again and feed off the humor you find in it. When you hear laughter, seek it out and ask, “What’s funny?”

Laugh at yourself.  One of my favorite quotes of all time is, "Never be afraid to laugh at yourself, you could be missing out on the joke of the century."  Don't take life too seriously, and learn to share embarrassing moments.

Keep things in perspective.  Many things in life are beyond your control—particularly the behavior of other people.  Make it a point to laugh about it instead of complain.

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