Mental health minute
By Shauna Summers
“Play is the purest expression of love” says psychiatrist Stuart Brown, M.D. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells as well as infection-fighting antibodies which improves your resistance to disease. Laughter also triggers the release of endorphins which promote an overall sense of well being. There is wisdom to the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.”
So, in order to reduce stress and increase your sense of well being, here are some fun things to enjoy! Guess which one of these 10 I did this past week?
- Play old-school board games with a group of your favorite people … and leave your phones in the other room with the ringers off.
- Take a 5-10 minute walk and challenge yourself to find five new things you’ve never noticed before.
- Take pictures of things your seven year old self would have collected or loved.
- Create a Halloween costume from scratch (sort of).
- List five things or people that always make you smile.
- Play with Legos or Barbies or an old favorite toy.
- Create your own sign that simply says, “No thank you” decorate it any way you like, then list all the things you’d like to say no to on the back.
- Play Mad Libs; either buy a book or play online at www.madlibs.com
- Make up a word and see if anyone notices when you slip it into conversation.
- Give yourself permission to watch your favorite funny movie or sitcom. Write yourself a permission slip if need be.
PS - I created a Halloween costume for myself from re-purposed items. I’m not done yet, but so far, it has been a lot of fun!