Smiling and Laughing Reduces Stress


Sometimes it's hard with all the stress around the holidays, but you have to laugh and smile... a lot!

- - relaxes the muscles in the face and head.
- - calms that stressed out nervous system
- - sends more oxygen to the brain
- - triggers the release of endorphins (those happy brain chemicals)

Laughing can lower blood pressure, relieve stress, and boost mood!

Since mood and body language are linked, it makes sense that laughing on purpose also helps.

Here's a simple exercise from Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh to help you tap into the benefits of smiling:

As you breathe in, say to yourself: Breathing in, I calm body and mind.
Then, as you breathe out, think: Breathing out, I smile.

By repeating this simple breathing exercise several times, you're relaxing your nervous system and countering stress.