First of all I want to send a BIG thank you to cathy at A Life Less Sweet for selecting my blog as one of her 5 fabulous blogs!

The Fabulous Award Rules

1) You must pass it along to 5 other fabulous blogs.  I am going to pick fabulous moms this time around. Here are 5 of a long list of Fabulous bloggers:

Workout Mommy

DaDiva’s Street

Up the Hill Backwards

Mama Sweat

Health Nut Wannabe Mom

2) You have to list 5 of your fabulous addictions.

Here are my five—->family, exercise, almonds, garlic and laughter.

Thanks again cathy!

Speaking of laughter……

Did you know that research has shown health benefits of laughter ranging from strengthening the immune system to controlling your eating? There’s even an emerging therapeutic field known as humor therapy to help people heal more quickly, among other things. Humor also has several important stress relieving benefits.

Stress Management Benefits of Laughter:

  • Hormones: Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), dopamine and growth hormone. It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins, and neurotransmitters. Laughter increases the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells. All this means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress.
  • Physical Release: Have you ever felt like you “have to laugh or I’ll cry”? Have you experienced the cleansed feeling after a good laugh? Laughter provides a physical and emotional release.
  • Internal Workout: A good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs and even works out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed afterward. It even provides a good workout for the heart.
  • Distraction: Laughter brings the focus away from anger, guilt, stress and negative emotions in a more beneficial way than other mere distractions.
  • Perspective: Studies show that our response to stressful events can be altered by whether we view something as a ‘threat’ or a ‘challenge’. Humor can give us a more lighthearted perspective and help us view events as ‘challenges’, thereby making them less threatening and more positive.
  • Social Benefits of Laughter: Laughter connects us with others. Also, laughter is contagious, so if you bring more laughter into your life, you can most likely help others around you to laugh more, and realize these benefits as well. By elevating the mood of those around you, you can reduce their stress levels, and perhaps improve the quality of social interaction you experience with them, reducing your stress level even more! …………………………………——> Need a laugh? <——

I will be away for the next week and wish everybody a fantastic, healthy week! Let’s include lots of laughter!..

“The most wasted day of all is that in which we have not laughed.” -Sebastian¬† Chamfort.………

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Sources: About.com Bennett MP, Lengacher C. Humor and Laughter May Influence Health: III. Laughter and Health OutcomesEvidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, March 2008. Bennett MP, Zeller JM, Rosenberg L, McCann J. The Effect of Mirthful Laughter on Stress and Natural Killer Cell Activity.. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, March-April 2003. Berk LS, Felten DL, Tan SA, Bittman BB, Westengard J. Modulation of Neuroimmune Parameters During the Eustress of Humor-Associated Mirthful Laughter.. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, March 2001. Skinner N, Brewer N. The Dynamics of Threat and Challenge Appraisals Prior to Stressful Achievement Events. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, September 2002.