The Physical Benefits of a Good Belly Laugh

When we laugh heartily among friends, we exhale repeatedly without drawing breath. This physical effort leaves us exhausted and triggers the release of protective endorphins, one of the complex neuropeptide chemicals of the brain that regulate pain and promote feelings of well-being. Watching 15 minutes of comedy in the company of others can increase your pain threshold by an average of 10%. Laughter is 30 times more likely to happen when we are with others than when we are alone.

Mental Attitude: Less Distress If Active!

Researchers found that older adults who experienced any level of psychological distress were more likely to experience physical functional limitations than those who did not. Psychological distress scores indicated that 8.4% of all older adult participants experienced some level of psychological distress and older adults who experienced even a moderate level of psychological distress were the most likely group to experience a functional limitation – almost seven times more likely than those who did not report any psychological distress! Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, April 2012

Get Your Sleep!

The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry recently published that older adults with poor sleep habits have an altered immune system response to stress that may increase their risk for mental and physical health problems. Stress leads to significantly larger increases in a marker of inflammation in poor sleepers compared to good sleepers; a marker associated with poor health outcomes and death.

Stressed Out? Cheer Up – 17 Reasons It Is Great To Be Alive Today

The great comedian Jackie Gleason once quipped, “The past remembers a lot better than it lived.”  Honestly, there is much truth in this statement. It is easy to get overwhelmed with the frenetic pace of our non-stop world and even the nightly news is a source of fear and trepidation when we see the seemingly endless carnage and despair in so many corners of the world. But it is also helpful to be reminded that our world and society is in many ways much better than years past. If you are feeling overwhelmed, there are healthy, natural ways to deal with stress.

Key Nutrients to Combat the Modern Stress Epidemic

Be it work, finances, relationships, or health issues, most of us experience stressful events at some point in our lives. But today, researchers are witnessing levels of stress that are virtually unprecedented. A startling 80% of Americans now report experiencing intense, chronic stress over personal finances and the economy. And 30 million Americans take medication to treat depression, but for most people, antidepressants serve mostly as a placebo, scientists now say.

Antidepressants: The Scary Truth

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Antidepressants are medications meant to act on the chemistry of the brain to relieve symptoms of depression. Along with talk therapy, antidepressants can be wonderful in helping those suffering from depression live a more normal life. However, there are often side effects from the antidepressants. According to WebMD.com, side effects can range from nausea to sexual dysfunction among others. More medications are prescribed to deal with the side effects, and even those can cause side effects, or the original medication gets changed and adjusted and the cycle starts all over again. There also is the problem with serious interactions with other drugs you may be taking. For a more complete list, visit www.drugwatch.com. Some antidepressants (such as Paxil) have even been linked to birth defects when taken by women who are pregnant. Responsible physicians will not prescribe antidepressants that have been linked to birth defects to their patients who are pregnant (Read More)