Categories
Mindset/Strenghts Resilience Self Care

5 Key Benefits Of Humor And Laughter For Your Wellbeing

You may have heard that laughter is the best medicine. While psychologists have determined that humor is a coping mechanism for stress, additional research into the science of humor and laughter has found that they are also good for your wellbeing. 

There are five key benefits of humor and laughter that can make you happier and healthier.

More Oxygen

Your body uses oxygen to create energy to move. As your cells use oxygen, they create carbon dioxide.  Your lungs need to exhale or push out the carbon dioxide so you can get more oxygen.  The better your breathing, the more oxygen you breathe in or inhale to circulate throughout your body.  

According to the American Lung Association, when you laugh, your lungs expand to push out more carbon dioxide and let more oxygen into them.  Deeper breaths mean more oxygen for energy.  In a study in the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, researchers found that laughing reduced trapped carbon dioxide in the lungs of people with pulmonary disease.  People with lung issues often have difficulty expelling carbon dioxide, making their breathing less effective.  

More oxygen can help you feel more energetic and alert.  More energy improves your ability to do things and benefits your wellbeing.

Reduce Pain

In a study at the University of Oxford, researchers found that humor and laughter reduce pain sensation. Your body produces endorphins, which are natural chemicals that are responsible for making you feel happy.  Endorphins also decrease the pain response.  In this study, 15 minutes of watching a humorous show increased the pain threshold by 10%.  

Endorphins are produced during physical activity and exercise.  A typical example is a “runner’s high” or the euphoria an athlete gets while running.  Scientists believe that laughter is an exercise for the abdominal muscles.  When you laugh, you breathe deeper, using your muscles more.  This creates endorphins that help you tolerate pain and improve your wellbeing.

Improved Immune System Function

Your immune system works to protect you against harmful germs. If you are exposed to germs, your immune system produces white blood cells to fight against germs and illness.  Your immune system also creates antibodies, so if you are exposed to that germ again, your body is ready to fight it off.  

In the 1970s, research published in the New England Journal of Medicine described how a patient with an autoimmune disorder, or dysfunctional immune system, used humor and laughter to treat his condition into remission.  Further studies at the Loma Linda University’s Schools of Allied Health have shown that laughter boosts the production of germ-fighting cells and antibodies.  Researchers also found that laughter increased cells’ ability to destroy cancer tumors.

Being sick reduces your wellbeing when you don’t feel well and cannot do what you want and need to do.  Humor and laughter improve your immune system function and help your overall wellbeing.

Fights Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are linked to stress. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety is the most common mental illness and affects over 40 million adults in the United States.  Anxiety and depression are often diagnosed together, with over half the people with one condition also having the other.  Anxiety and depression negatively affect a person’s wellbeing and quality of life.

Many studies have shown that humor and laughter relieve stress and decrease the risk for anxiety and depression.  In a Plos One study, researchers found that the more a person laughed, the less stress they reported feeling.

Better Bonding

In a study at the University of North Carolina, researchers found that shared laughter signals people to believe they have the same viewpoint and boosts their sense of connection. 

According to the American Psychological Association, social isolation, and lack of meaningful bonds with others decrease a person’s wellbeing by affecting their:

  • Sleep
  • Cognitive Function
  • Health

Humor and laughter help create and strengthen bonds, improving your wellbeing.  Laughter really is the best medicine.  

Categories
Personal Growth Resilience

How to Be Assertive Without Rubbing People The Wrong Way

Assertiveness is an important skill for effective communication as an adult. Assertiveness allows you to advocate for yourself and your needs in a healthy way. Some people interpret assertiveness as hostility or rudeness. Many factors can go into how assertiveness is interpreted or received. Let’s take a look at ways to advocate for yourself in an effective manner.

What Is Assertiveness?

Assertiveness is an interpersonal skill. It demonstrates your confidence and allows you to advocate for your needs, desires and boundaries while being respectful towards others. You are taking care of yourself by looking out for yourself.

Steps To Being Assertive 

  • Ask for you want or need respectfully
  • It is ok to say “No”
  • Speak your mind 
  • Remember you do not need to take responsibility for how the other person reacts and responds.
  • You have a right to your feelings 
  • Use “I” statements when speaking
  • Don’t apologize for your feelings or needs.

Delivery Matters

You can definitely be assertive without being rude. Tact is a thing. So is delivery. How you advocate for your needs can make a difference in how it is received. You can be assertive without being aggressive or impolite. 

Using “I” statements to convey your needs helps prevent the person you are speaking to understand that you are stating your needs, and not placing blame. At times people may take assertiveness as rudeness when it is not. This is not your responsibility. Stay calm, keep it positive and constructive, but speak your needs.

Practice Practice


Assertiveness comes easy for some and is an anxiety-inducing challenge for others. The thing is, the more you do it the easier it gets. If being assertive does not come naturally for you start small. Practice stating your opinions in lower fidelity situations first. 

Gain confidence as you go. Don’t apologize for stating your wants and needs. Know your boundaries and beliefs on bigger issues and be ready to peacefully and proactively advocate for your needs. 

Dont’s 

  • Placing blame 
  • Sharing your wants and needs in a confrontational or aggressive manner
  • Yelling or shouting 
  • Being unwilling to hear the other person out

Try to be diplomatic and do your best to stay calm. Also, understand that you can’t force someone to respect your assertive requests and behaviour. You know what is best for you and only you can decide what to do if your requests are not honored. Stay true to your integrity and values. 

Categories
Fresh Start Mindset/Strenghts Personal Growth Resilience Self Esteem/Self Confidence

7 Things People Who Believe in Themselves Do Differently

What is about people who believe in themselves? We see it in the way they carry themselves, in the way they converse with others, and in the things they accomplish. Self-belief in action is an amazing thing to see, and something everyone should aspire to.

At the same time, we very quickly become intimidated by this kind of change. It seems like it would be hard to change how you think and feel about yourself. We tend to stall out before we begin because it seems like only ‘special’ people are going to get ‘there.’ 

But is that true? A closer examination shows us otherwise. In fact, you’ll find people who believe in themselves have a lot of traits in common. Let’s look at some of those now.

They Know Where to Find Happiness

…and it’s not where you’ve been looking. People with self-belief know true happiness is something that comes from inside, not from how many toys you have or how many digits you have in your checking account.

They’re Really Not Interested in What Everyone Else is Doing

With no judgment and even less interest in comparing themselves to others, people who believe in themselves tend to focus more on what they’re doing. The competition simply doesn’t matter.

They Pick their Battles

When you lack self-belief, you tend to say ‘yes’ to everything. The problem? If you don’t value your time, no one else will either. Learning which things to say ‘yes’ to and more importantly, how to say ‘no,’ shows the world around them their time is worth fighting for.

They Know When to Speak Confidently

There’s no waffling or room for wishy-washy statements in the world of self-belief. Your ‘yes’ means ‘yes.’ You use a phrase like, “I know…” or “I can…” without second-guessing or wondering if they really can follow through with what they’re saying.

They Look for the Challenge

There’s nothing like a little healthy competition with yourself. Self-belief means you know the value of pushing to get to the next level. To a person with this kind of self-belief, life becomes almost like a game to move up by facing a challenge straight-on.

They Know How to Fail

The person with self-belief isn’t afraid to try, which sometimes means not accomplishing what they set out to do. When that happens, they take the lesson learned without making excuses or worrying about how it looks. 

They Don’t Need the Spotlight

When you believe in yourself, you don’t need accolades and are quick to point out the accomplishments of others. Most people with strong self-belief are modest. They know their value; they don’t need someone else to underscore it for them.

The amazing thing about all of these traits is just how easy they are to develop in yourself. By taking the time to build habits of self-belief, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you become one of those fantastic people who really believe in themselves. 

If however you are struggling with self-belief or self confidence, I would love to help you. Click here to book your free clarity call :)