Tag Archives: relaxation

It’s Time to Laugh off Stress!

Do You Need to Laugh?

Have you felt stressed this year? Has your body been more tired or tense as the result of anxiety? Have you felt disappointed about missing celebrations and milestones with loved ones? There are a million reasons why 2020-2021 has increased stress levels, but the good news is that healing can start now. It’s simply a laugh away!

It’s time to laugh your stress off…literally.

I’m not suggesting that difficult emotions must get buried or left unprocessed. That would be unhealthy for long-term wellness. What I am recommending is that you find things that make you joyful so you can lighten the mood and laugh along with life.



“Laughter is the best medicine in the world.”

-Milton Berle


The Scientifically-Proven Benefits of Laughter

According to the Mayo Clinic, a good laugh immediately stimulates your organs through the intake of oxygen-rich air. As you laugh, your heart rate and blood pressure rise but both drop after the giggles subside, producing a calm and relaxed feeling. Your stress response “cools off” following a laugh and muscle tension eases for up to 45 minutes afterwards.

Also, laughter increases blood circulation, which is good for your heart and lungs, and boosts the release of mood-enhancing endorphins. This  all contributes to the calorie-burning effect of laugher which may not be equivalent to formal exercise but is just one more benefit of a hearty laugh.

Laughter even improves pain, strengthens the immune system, and extends the lifespan!


Humor for Pain Relief

Endorphins, our body’s natural feel-good chemicals, are commonly known for their stress relieving benefits following things like exercise and laugher, but they also help improve pain! In a study on the effectiveness of humor therapy for older adults living in nursing homes, it was found that individuals who completed a “humor therapy program” experienced significant decreases in chronic pain and perception of loneliness. Study participants reported enhanced happiness and life satisfaction compared to a control group that didn’t complete the humor therapy program.

The study concluded that “Nurses and other healthcare professionals can incorporate humor in caring for their patients. Telling a joke and encouraging clients to tell a funny story may have a therapeutic effect. Asking patients to make a “My Happy Folder” is also a good way to involve and empower them in their own pain and symptom management. Regardless of their physical condition, patients need to allow themselves to be happy, to let humor play a greater role in their lives, and to enjoy life. Using humor therapy is a good method of health maintenance.”

Hunter “Patch” Adams, who was portrayed in the film “Patch Adams” by Robin Williams, has long understood the medicinal effects of humor. Adams is an American physician, comedian and clown who organizes volunteers to travel around the world dressed as clowns so that orphans, patients, and others in need can enjoy their humor. Adams is also a social activist who founded the Gesundheit! Institute, a free community hospital. In its latest plans, the Gesundheit! Institute will be built as a healthcare eco-community in West Virginia that incorporates alternative medicine with traditional hospital care. Of all people, Adams understands that traditional medicine isn’t always the only answer. Humor and alternative healing approaches can improve pain and outcomes of medical interventions.



“The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.”

-Mark Twain


Bolster the Immune System with Belly Laughs

Laughter has long been praised for boosting the immune system; however, researchers face inconclusive evidence about the benefits of laughter on the actual various immune system components. That said, the scientific community knows that increased and chronic stress weakens the immune system response. Humor, it seems, might just do the opposite by influencing the rise of immune cell levels and infection-fighting antibodies.

My two cents: Laughter can’t hurt.

As we continue to suffer and/or recover from the effects of a global pandemic, a good laugh is easily the most accessible, free, and unlimited medicine that we have for healing. I say use it!


Laughter and Longevity

A study published in Psychosomatic Medicine found that women with a strong sense of humor live longer than peers despite a variety of illnesses that they may suffer. The Norwegian study was conducted over 15 years and included over 50,000 adults. Researchers stated:

“The findings show that for women, high scores on humor’s cognitive component were associated with 48 percent less risk of death from all causes, a 73 percent lower risk of death from heart disease and an 83 percent lower risk of death from infection. In men, a link was found only for the risk of death from infection—those with high humor scores had a 74 percent reduced risk.”

This is highly compelling evidence that it’s never too late in life to benefit from a good laugh. And why wait? Start incorporating daily or weekly humor now!



“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.”

-Victor Hugo


Bonding and Togetherness in the Giggles

Laughter is contagious and can bring people together, strengthen relationships, diffuse disagreements, and release inhibitions. It comes in the form of swapping jokes and spending time with family and friends. Laughing can help people feel happier, more positive and relaxed in stressful situations.

As the world attempts to gain immunity from Covid-19 it’s a good time (once safe) to visit with select loved ones face-to-face and to engage in the powerful social aspects of humor, storytelling, quality time, and in-person interactions. These are all important for mental health and have been lacking for many of us over the past year.

Laughter helps people “get out of their heads” and better connect with others. The collective healing capacity of humanity depends on simple daily acts and moments like… giggling with a girlfriend, tickling your toddler, swapping playful jokes with parents, belly laughing to a comedy movie, reading something humorous, and finding the levity in life. Despite all the recent heaviness, there is always something to laugh about. Doing so may even give you the hope and healing you need.


“If you become silent after your laughter, one day you will hear God also laughing. You will hear the whole existence laughing – trees and stones and stars with you.”






Yours in health and wellness,




Don’t You Deserve a Break?

There are many days when we women run on an empty tank, rushing around to take care of errands, a family, work, meals, and, on seldom occasion, a pedicure! If we’re lucky. No “Manual on Life” told us to keep the pressure on 24/7; it just kind of happened one day. It became the norm out of nowhere.

But, even with a full agenda…especially with a full agenda, it’s important to give ourselves a well-deserved break. A big part of wellness is knowing how to handle our energy. We must refuel and be “selfish” at times or we will, quite literally, go crazy. Been there!!!

So, in celebration of the upcoming holiday, Labor Day, I would like to leave you with some ideas on how to create boundaries and “me time,” so that you can finally catch your breath.

Take a break

Whether or not you have the day off on Labor Day is irrelevant. I went for years without standard weekday holidays off because that was when clients had time to get in the gym. People I had been trying to get on my schedule for months would finally show up! Hence, the Labor Day blog post will be a workout that you can do, should you choose to spend part of the holiday on your health. Whenever you have the opportunity to make time for yourself is great!

It may be that you have to hit the pause button in the middle of a busy time at work – in order to save your sanity –  or you may have too much time on your hands one month and, as a result, you feel like you have to keep a full schedule, making every minute count. Whatever the case, if you don’t make time for you, no one else will. Showing yourself love is just as important as loving others, especially for women who tend to be hard on themselves while simultaneously being incredibly generous to others.

This past week I found myself short-fused and exhausted. I’m almost 16 weeks pregnant and I had spent the entire month working my rear end off on events for other women in my life. I was super happy to do it and very honored to have such special ladies in my life that I would bend over backwards for. Still, I reached the end of August feeling physically and emotionally vulnerable. I had depleted myself because I didn’t take the time to reenergize and focus on my needs (especially during such a sensitive time in life). So, I decided to implement the following strategies (below) to create a little personal space and time for myself. It was only one day of the week that I gave in to all of my needs, but I savored in it. I finally felt like I took care of myself.

Maybe you can use these strategies to cut out a few hours of the day for yourself, or maybe you can find a way to turn it into a whole week! Enjoy the time and remember that you are worthy of it.

Strategies for Recharging

Katharine Hepburn

Carve Out Time

Although an impromptu “peace out” can be extraordinarily satisfying, I find that planning your personal time in advance has some benefits. If you plan your personal hour(s), day(s), week(s) or…gasp…month(s) (PS – I envy you) ahead of time, you have the ability to be really thoughtful about how you wish to spend it. One can easily get wrapped up in an agenda of personal errands during off days instead of giving time to activities that will be emotionally rejuvenating.

I think one of the biggest things that women need to remember is that there doesn’t need to be a justification for your time off. You don’t need to make up a lame excuse about your dog’s vet appointment or a family member from out of town. Just say that you need the day off. Simple as that!

Create Boundaries with Friends/Family/Co-workers

If you need the day off and someone is making you feel bad about it, that’s their issue, not yours. I know it sounds harsh, but there are likely few needs that will collapse the world or ruin your professional reputation if left unattended to for 24 hours (unless an individual’s actual life depends on you…which may be the case for babies, handicap and elderly individuals). Thus, it’s important to identify people who you anticipate may reach out to you during your time off. Politely let them know that you care about them and their needs, but that you’re going to be off the radar for a hot second and to please hold off on communication. You can promptly pick things up again when you return.

I was really intimidated to explain to a few close friends that I needed a break from talking about baby stuff for the week. As an expectant mother, I felt overwhelmed by the constant messages and requests to chat about how I was feeling, particularly when they came multiple times a day. I appreciate the outpouring of love and concern, but I just felt that it was holding me back from getting into a rhythm of focusing on myself (and ironically, by taking care of my own needs, being able to take care of my growing baby’s needs). I’m here today to say that these friends completely understood that I needed to mentally check out for a bit. I mean, once the baby arrives I won’t have that privilege! They are still my wonderful friends and no, it wasn’t as scary or offensive to bring up as I had imagined it. Life goes on!

Relaxation is who you are

Do Things That REALLY Make You Happy

I recently heard about famous Japanese home organizer, Marie Kondo. She tells people to take each item in their closet or home, depending on how much decluttering you need, into their hands. While touching the item, people are encouraged to ask the thoughtful question, “Does this spark joy?” If not, it’s time to get rid of it. Thus, for your personal time, I encourage you to do the same. Does the activity (or even lack of agenda) give you joy?

Some people hate Home Depot. Some people hate the gym. I happen to LOVE both. So, on my personal day off I hit them both up. I also decided that tracking down a hidden neighborhood dog park was on my agenda because watching my little puppy sprint across a wide open space makes my heart leap. Lastly, I decided to discard my backlog of American Marketing Association magazines in favor of a book that I will allow to remain nameless, lol. Let’s just say it’s a poorly written, trashy chick-lit novel that doesn’t deserve the $30 I spent on it…except that it kind of does because it provides mindless entertainment value. Gotta love that from time to time.

What makes you really happy? Do you allow yourself time for it? If the answer is no, create time. Out of thin air, if you must. Life is too short not to enjoy yourself here and there.

Remove “Should” From Your Vocabulary

I’m the queen of using my email inbox as my “To Do” list. In other words, if your email hits my main account, I’m responding to it ASAP. On my day off, a few emails pinged in that I felt compelled to respond to right away. But, that would be breaking my own rules. If you’re truly taking time for yourself, allow the “should” tasks to wash away from the world. They’re still going to be there after you relax. In fact, they will never go away because that’s just life. So, why allow them to insert themselves into your brief hiatus? Your Zen is way more important than vacuuming, emails, cleaning your closet, and running errands. For once, your only “should” is what you genuinely want; the thing that warms your heart.

Ladies, you have certainly added to the strength, posterity and well-being of our country and, the world at large. Don’t you deserve Labor Day or another day off, just for yourself? Listen to the little voice that is saying “yeesssssssss!”

Yours in health and wellness,


wellnesswinz blue sea