Summer is here, our days are packed full and we often become stressed. We sometimes have so much going on we think there's no time to laugh and have fun. Wrong! There is good news! Smiling and laughter are really good for your health! And the more you do them the better!

From biblical times, Proverbs (17:22) tells us “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” And we have all heard the saying “Laughter is the best medicine”.

Now modern medicine is backing this up with research that has shown that smiling and laughing cause physiological changes in your body. There is a reduction in cortisol, a chemical that indicates stress in the body, and an increase in mood elevating endorphins. Laughter is also thought to improve circulation, stimulate the nervous system, heighten the immune system, and make the heart stronger.

Laughing releases the tension of pent-up feelings and can help us keep things in perspective. Laughter is one of the body's safety valves, a counter balance to tension. When we release that tension, the elevated levels of the body's stress hormones drop back to normal, thereby allowing our immune systems to work more effectively.

Adults laugh approximately 15 times per day, while children laugh about 400 times a day! When we grew up, somehow we lost a few hundred laughs a day. By learning to smile and laugh again, more easily and often, we could have a profound and positive effect on our health and well being.

It has also been discovered that faking laughter will cause the body to respond as though the laughter is real. The physiological changes that occur with real laughter will also take effect even when we just pretend to laugh. So there is no excuse! If you don’t feel it, fake it for awhile! You will soon see you really do feel better.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Practice laughing 5 minutes every day. Fake it till you make it.

Laugh with other people when they laugh.

Wear a smile. It puts you closer to laughing.

Seek out entertainment that makes you laugh.

Wave to yourself in the mirror. Every time you pass a mirror, give yourself a little wave and a smile.

Do at least one silly, non-conforming thing a day.

Practice these tips often and soon you will find you have developed a new healthy habit. Keep laughing, pass it on to everyone you meet. We can never laugh too often or too much.

Author's Bio: 

Susan Stewart is co-founder and partner of It’s My Nature, a home based business in Florence, Oregon that provides Aromatherapy and Herbal Comforts. See their large, informative website at or a catalog is available by calling 1-888-445-5051. Monthly email newsletter.