Laughter truly is the best medicine. It releases all the feel-good chemicals, relieves stress, and stimulates the organs.
A simple burst of laughter can decrease depression and anxiety, lower blood pressure, manage pain, enhance creativity and productivity, burn calories, and more. Unfortunately, most adults have little laughter in their lives. Children laugh about 150 times a day while adults only laugh about 12 times per day. If we just laughed a little more, we could be so much happier. And lifelong happiness begins in the morning. Waking up on the right side of the bed can do wonders for your mood.
In an interview with BYRDIE, laughter coach Francine Shore shared nine tips for waking up and feeling great.
1. Start your morning with gratitude
The first thing you should do every morning is write down three things you're grateful for. Even if yesterday was horrible, there are always positive things to be grateful for. The practice of physically writing down these positives is restorative. It allows you to approach the day from a place of contentment, not bitterness.
This is the simplest thing to do. One smile can trick your mind into feeling happier. When you smile, your body releases endorphins and serotonin, which make you feel good.
3. Take a deep breath
Another easy thing to do. Taking a few minutes to breath deeply each morning have significant mood-boosting effects. Deep breathing promotes feelings of calm and relieves stress.
4. Go outside
The happiest people are those who spend time in sunshine and nature. Nature has the ability to heal and awaken the senses. According to Shore, nature reminds us that there is "something larger out there in the universe," and this helps us reign in our egos. She also notes that taking a moment to notice the beauty that surrounds us helps us remember that "there truly is good in the world." Even if you don't live near a beach or mountains, you can still benefit by taking a stroll through the park or walking to work instead of riding the subway.
5. Just dance
Music and dance actually make you happier. Dancing to good music connects with the emotional centers in the brain. It releases endorphins and reduces levels of cortisol - the stress hormone. Because we spend so much time cooped up in an office in front of a screen, we don't get much time to run around and be free. Dancing and singing makes you feel good because it makes you feel alive.
6. Wear bright colors
Wearing a pop of color will immediately brighten your mood and it has the ability to enhance someone else's mood when they're with you. If you're feeling sad, wear yellow. Yellow is considered the brightest and most cheerful of all the colors. If you're feeling anxious, choose something more soothing like lavender or light blue.
"Volunteering helps us develop a deeper sense of compassion and creates a sense of joy and community, Shore says. It helps you get out of your own head and do something for the greater good. You don't have to be a full blown activist for this to work. Spend a morning walking dogs at a local animal shelter. That'll cheer you right up!
8. Play with a puppy
Speaking of dogs, our blood pressure physically lowers when we pet and play with animals. Cats and dogs give unconditional love, which makes us feel more connected and secure. This then promotes feelings of calmness and happiness. If you aren't lucky enough to have a furry pet of your own, ask someone to pet their dog in the morning. We're sure they won't mind!
9. Watch something funny
At the end of the day, it's important to do anything that'll keep you laughing. Put on an episode of Parks and Recreation before bed or watch a funny movie on Netflix. "Find the funny in the most ordinary of places," says Shore. "Choose levity in your life. It's a positive coping mechanism."
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