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      Laughter is the Best Medicine

      The only positive associated with the word stressed is that it spells desserts backwards.

      Experts say long-term exposure to stress can lead to serious health problems affecting nearly every system in the body.

      â??Whenever our body is stressed itâ??s not just in our mind, our whole body goes into stress,â?? said Dr. Justin Puckett from Complete Family Medicine. â??Chemicals change and our ability to get infection increases and so stress cannot only be very taxing from a mental health standpoint but it can also have real physical complaints that come along with that and can really increase the risk of getting sick in many other ways.â??

      So then whatâ??s the fastest way to reduce stress and avoid those issues? Itâ??s simple, laugh it off.

      Laughter boosts the heart rate and increases blood flow, instantly uplifting your mood.

      Finding time to relax can be difficult but when the opportunity presents itself, make sure to take full advantage of it. Laughing lowers stress hormones while relieving tension triggers happy endorphins. Working out and eating healthy will increase your vitamin intake and ease your anxiety. And of course, we canâ??t forget that common phrase, take a deep breath; in through your nose and out through your mouth.

      Remembering those five steps to managing your stress will save you from a future full of anxiety. Experts say one strong laughing session can relieve physical tension and relax your muscles for up to 45 minutes.

      â??Interestingly enough, actually having some humor, laughing, that laughter is the best medicine actually can play a real role in lowering those cortisol levels and also, not only lowering cortisol levels but increasing some of the natural feel good hormones, those endorphins in our body that help us to kind of get over that level of stress,â?? said Puckett.

      Not to mention, laughter is contagious. So youâ??re not only helping yourself but youâ??re helping those around you as well.

      So in honor of April being National Humor Month, donâ??t be afraid to get the giggles out.