Posted by: Bert Copple | April 4, 2013

Sometimes You Just Got To Laugh

Just because T.S.Elliot said April is the cruelest month doesn’t make it so. Quite the opposite. It happens to be National Humor Month, and what could be kinder than injecting a little levity into your life and the lives of those around you?

Nothing. In fact, as lifelong funny girl Marlo Thomas notes in this column, laughter isn’t just good for the soul, it’s great for the body, too. And, some of its most prominent effects are especially beneficial to seniors and caregivers.

That Girl

At Home Instead Senior Care serving Birmingham and the greater Detroit araea, we don’t just love to laugh, we laugh to live. Here are just a few of the reasons why laughter really can be the best medicine:

Your LOL RX For Stress: Laughter reduces the production of stress hormones like  cortisol which can weaken the immune system and epinephrine (adrenaline), which can cause hypertension, while increasing levels of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins, which help reduce pain, and neurotransmitters as well as antibody-producing cells. It also enhances the effectiveness of T cells, which protect the body from infection.

Get the Blood Flowing: Laughter is relaxing and can help with cardiovascular problems by increasing blood flow and the function of blood vessels. A really good belly laugh can even give you a bit of a workout: it contracts the diaphragm and abs, and maybe even the shoulders, then relaxes the muscles afterwards.

Attitude Adjustment: Sometimes a good guffaw is all you need to distract you from your problems and help you reframe them into manageable challenges. After ROTFL (rolling on the floor laughing) you will feel recharged and ready to tackle things from a new angle.

Chuckling is Contagious: We all know that caregiving can be a lonely job and sometimes it’s hard to create meaningful moments with our seniors when we are busy staying on task. Sharing a laugh is a great way to engage and make everyone’s day a little brighter.

For more ideas on alleviating caregiver stress and improving the daily lives of seniors, visit our website, call 248-203-2273 or Like us on Facebook.

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