If the truth be told yes,the holidays are restful ..but only when we get to them!
At CADH, dental hygiene and Level 2 dental assisting students are tirelessly working away at the demands of the course work with the faculty and staff working hard to support them along the way -all employees, I know, are looking forward to a much-needed break! The build-up to the holiday season however, is of course,exciting but the demands placed on everyone during the months and weeks prior can be seriously detrimental to one’s health… if you are not careful! The shopping, family management, parties, late-nights, cooking , baking, wrapping, cleaning, hosting, “consumerism overload” with sales everywhere-in your mailbox, on your computer, on your phone; deadlines at work, deadlines at home, family sicknesses-it can all make you crazy! Even keeping a “healthy-balance” during the stressful periods is a challenge-where do we find the time to even do that?? Well, according to vast studies at the Mayo Clinic, laughter has proven to clearly be one of the best practices known and now proven to combat stress and guess what? It’s free and that is a real bonus at this time of year! A good sense of humor can’t cure all ailments, but data are mounting about the positive things laughter can do.
“A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:
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 increases 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 help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress”.(Mayo Clinic Research department)
Research at the Mayo Clinic also notes significant long term effects. “Laughter isn’t just a quick pick-me-up, though. It’s also good for you over the long haul. Laughter may:
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. In contrast, positive thoughts 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. Laughter may also break the pain-spasm cycle common to some muscle disorders. 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 make you feel happier.
Research at the Mayo Clinic has further proven that humor can actually be learned!
1. Put humor on your horizon. Find a few simple items, such as photos or comic strips that make you chuckle. Then hang them up at home or in your office. Keep funny movies or comedy albums on hand for when you need an added humor boost.
2. Laugh and the world laughs with you. Find a way to laugh about your own situations and watch your stress begin to fade away. Even if it feels forced at first, practice laughing. It does your body good.
3. Share a laugh. Make it a habit to spend time with friends who make you laugh. And then return the favor by sharing funny stories or jokes with those around you.
4. Knock-knock. Browse through your local bookstore or library’s selection of joke books and get a few rib ticklers in your repertoire that you can share with friends.
5. Know what isn’t funny. Don’t laugh at the expense of others. Some forms of humor aren’t appropriate. Use your best judgment to discern a good joke from a bad, or hurtful, one.
6. Remember-Laughter is the best medicine!