Today, 16 January, is said to be the most depressing day of the year. Well, I know it’s Monday, but the sun is shining and it feels like a good start to the week.
As human beings we are hardwired to look at the bright side of life even if the evidence around us suggests that the future is not looking so good. Optimism is part of our strategy for survival and helps us to deal with financial problems, health issues and worries about our children.
This could be the reason why laughter is so good for us. It reduces stress hormones such as cortisol and releases health enhancing hormones, such as endorphins, into the bloodstream that help to heal, rejuvenate and renew our bodies. It can also strengthen our immune system.
Laughter can be contagious – in a good way. The brain responds to the sound of laughter by preparing the face to laugh and smile. If you laugh, the chances are that people around you will relax and laugh too. So just by laughing you can improve your own mental and physical health and the wellbeing of the people you live and work with.
What would make you have a good laugh today? Do you have a favourite funny movie or TV programme that you could watch? Or is there a book that really makes you laugh? I remember the first time that I read The Diary of Adrian Mole I was incapacitated with laughter. Even better, could you sit down with some family or friends and remember some happy, funny memories?
Whatever you do today, take your medicine – have a good laugh!